Kamloops man found guilty of several firearms, property offences | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops man found guilty of several firearms, property offences

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August 17, 2017 - 2:52 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man who was at one point facing dozens of charges after police searched his Sahali home has been found guilty of some of the remaining charges.

Jason Robertson and his wife Sarah owned a home in Sahali in 2014. In February of that year, police began an investigation which included surveilling him for his alleged involvement in the drug trade.

Eventually police obtained search warrants for the home and seized dozens of firearms, brass knuckles, a taser, electronic, and some drug packaging material.

The Crown argued the large cache of electronics was due to Robertson's involvement in the drug trade, saying he may have sold drugs to people and been given property in exchange.

Although Robertson was facing more than 30 charges after the seizure, the majority of those had been stayed leading up to his trial this week due to breaches of his Charter rights. His wife Sarah was acquitted of her charges in June, as the Crown didn't call any evidence against her.

Robertson was left facing 10 charges, and in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Aug. 17, Judge Jeanne Watchuk found him guilty of seven of those charges.

Because the Crown believed many of the offences were linked to Robertson's involvement in the drug trade, prosecutor Evan Goulet asked the court during trial to make a finding of fact that Robertson was in fact a drug dealer, although he wasn't facing any drug-related charges.

"Crown has proven on a balance of probabilities that Mr. Robertson was involved in the sale of drugs at his home," Watchuk said.

Citing other cases across Canada, Watchuk explained that in circumstancial cases, if you take facts out of the bigger picture and look at them separately, they may be weak on their own. But when grouped together and put into context, the only logical conclusion could be a finding of guilt.

While reading her reasons, Watchuk went into detail for each offence Robertson was charged with. She found him guilty of possessing a weapon obtained by the commission of an offence. This referred to six firearms in Robertson's home.

Robertson owned upwards of 30 firearms, including rifles, and had the appropriate licence. Watchuk said four of the stolen firearms were similar to the guns he already owned, and he may not have had knowledge these firearms were obtained through an offence.

Neither Robertson nor his wife were charged with the thefts of these firearms.

But there were two other firearms in question, both of them commemorative rifles. Watchuk said Robertson was willfully blind to the fact that these guns were obtained by the commission of an offence, and found him guilty on that part of the charge.

He was also found guilty of storing those six firearms against regulations, having brass knuckles and a taser in his home knowing he didn't have a licence to possess those, possessing stolen property including two telecommunications kits and an iPad, and possessing an identity document relating to another person.

However, Watchuk found Robertson not guilty of two separate charges involving the brass knuckles and taser.

Lawyers are expected to meet in September to fix a date for Robertson's sentencing.

Court heard Robertson's lawyers may file a Jordan application, which is used when an accused feels their right to a timely trial has not been met.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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.

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