Fentanyl dealer sentenced after crashing, dropping shotgun, hiding in forest on North Island – Victoria News
A fentanyl trafficker who was involved in a car crash, threw a shotgun at the scene, fled from the police and hid in the North Island forest has been sentenced to 20 additional months in prison.
Justin John Chester of Courtenay was sentenced in Nanaimo on July 11 and the decision was released on Thursday July 22.
Chester, 32, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and illegal possession of a firearm in a series of events on November 25, 2019 that led to his arrest.
Chester was traveling in an SUV on the Island Highway near Port McNeill when the vehicle struck the rear of a commercial vehicle. RCMP attended the scene and as the officer approached, Chester was seen throwing something in the bushes. Asked about it, Chester told the officer it was car parts.
As Chester was transported to hospital, RCMP discovered that the discarded item was in fact a 12 gauge shotgun, and police also spotted two purses with “a substantial sum of money” on them. the back seat of the SUV and grabbed the vehicle.
When police attempted to arrest Chester at the hospital, “his response was to resist and run,” the sentencing decision noted. The suspect lost officers in the forest and it took three hours, a police dog and a “physical altercation” for the police to stop Chester, during which a nearby school was closed.
A subsequent search of the SUV revealed 34.5 grams of fentanyl estimated to be worth $ 4,000 to $ 10,000, bags and other evidence of drug trafficking, and $ 10,000 in cash.
Sentencing judge Judge James Williams noted Chester’s “long, serious and persistent” criminal record which included at least two previous drug trafficking convictions and “numerous” prison terms.
Chester told the court he was “obligated and determined to make real changes in his life and to break his pattern of criminal offense,” and specifically asked to serve his sentence in the Guthrie House Therapeutic Community at the center. Nanaimo Correctional Facility.
He accepted the Crown’s request for a four-year sentence, which reduced to 20 months taking into account the time already served.
The judge said he was inclined to accept Chester’s expressed intentions to make serious changes in his life.
“If so and if he is able to embark on a rehabilitated life, it will offer society his greatest protection.” If he does not, I have no doubt that he will be apprehended and that a heavy prison sentence will seem to be the only possible outcome, ”said the judge.