By Charlotte Helston
A man who pleaded guilty to dealing drugs out of a motor home in Vernon says doing time is just what he needs to turn his life around. The judge who sentenced him to a year in jail hopes that's true.
Christopher Robert Hubley faced numerous possession for the purpose of trafficking charges to do with three arrests over the past year.
Twice, he was found dealing drugs out of a motor home, first on Pleasant Valley Road and next on Okanagan Landing Road. Another time, he was searched on the street after leaving a residence known to police for drug activities.
Each time, Hubley was found in possession of a variety of drugs, including crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, pills and marijuana. Bundles of cash in amounts as high as $5,000 were found on him, often wrapped in paper or saran wrap and labelled with the amount of money enclosed.
Weapons, including a gun, were discovered in his possession on more than one occasion. Police also found a variety of items—mostly jewelery and laptops—stashed in the motor home that are believed to have been stolen.
Crown lawyer Richard Barton said during one of Hubley's arrests "a cellphone was ringing non-stop." While under police surveillance, a dozen individuals were observed making brief visits to Hubley's motor home, including drug-users familiar to the RCMP.
"Mr. Hubley says police jacked him up for $5,000... and intimated the reason he had to deal drugs was to pay off his debt," Barton said.
After his first two arrests, Hubley was released on a promise to appear. Both times, he continued to participate in drug-related activities. The third time, police kept him in custody, where's he's been since January 30.
Hubley's defense, Ignatius Pielecki, said his client's upbringing was "mildly unstable" and that the legal ramifications of his drug habit have "changed his life."
Judge Gregory Korturbash was surprised Hubley had been released on a promise to appear not once, but twice.
"(It) didn't help to guide his moral compass," he said.
In mulling over the joint submission of one year in prison from the Crown and defense, Korturbash said an aggravating factor was Hubley's admittance of profiting from the drug trade. He said Hubley made $50,000 in one month, which was much more than he needed simply to feed his drug habit.
He said Hubley's "mildly unstable" family life was no excuse for his behaviour.
Korturbash sentenced Hubley to one year in jail, minus the 64 days he's already served in custody. A forfeiture order was given with respect to the items believed to have been stolen, as well as a ten-year weapons ban.
"I hope you're sincere about wanting to turn your life around," Korturbash told Hubley via video conference.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)309-5230.