PENTICTON - A Penticton man has been sentenced to three more years of driving prohibitions and more jail time after refusing to obey orders not to drive.
Darcy Emil Lenko, 52, was also caught with heroin and methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified in addition to a charge of drug possession in Penticton court today, Sept. 1.
Lenko was caught behind the wheel of a vehicle by police on Dec. 11, 2015 at a Calgary Avenue residence after police queried the vehicle’s plate and discovered it was owned by an unlicensed driver.
Lenko, who is well known to police, was arrested. A search revealed a pill bottle with 0.5 grams of heroin in it, a cigarette package containing 6.8 grams of methamphetamine, an iPhone, almost $1,000 in cash, prepaid Visa cards, a HTC cell phone and a credit card in the name of an individual who had reported his wallet stolen on Dec. 2, 2015.
Federal Crown prosecutor Ashleigh Baylis said Lenko’s lengthy criminal record indicated a man “completely entrenched in a criminal lifestyle" and asked Judge Gregory Koturbash to consider a 60-day jail sentence for the drug infractions.
Provincial Crown prosecutor Ann Lerechs told court Lenko had been stopped by police on July 26, 2015, and again on April 12, 2016, for driving while prohibited. She asked the judge to consider 30 additional days for his driving offences, as well as a three year driving prohibition.
Defence lawyer James Pennington said his client's guilty pleas, “relieved the system of the time and expense of a trial,” offering no objection to Crown’s sentencing requests.
Lenko offered little excuse for his actions, telling court he has been an IV heroin user for 20 years.
“I’m trying not to use it,” he said.
Judge Koturbash said Lenko’s record of 90 convictions dating back to 1991 indicated the accused saw the criminal justice system as little more than “an occupational hazard," agreeing to Crown’s request.
Lenko has 23 days remaining in his 90 day sentence when time served is taken into account. He was also given a three year driving suspension and $400 victim surcharge.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.