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Kamloops man may be first in B.C. to be sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

April 26, 2016 - 1:16 PM

KAMLOOPS - A crown prosecutor is seeking a lengthy prison sentence for what she believes to be the first sentencing for trafficking fentanyl in B.C.

Anita Chan wants B.C. Supreme Court Justice Hope Hyslop to send Matthew Hickson, born 1983, to prison for four years. Hickson was arrested Nov. 5, 2014 when a car he was the passenger in was pulled over and police found cocaine and fentanyl in the trunk of the car.

Hickson is due to be sentenced today, April 26, for possession of cocaine and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. Chan said she believes this is the first time someone is being sentenced for trafficking fentanyl in B.C. She referred to cases from Ontario for reference for the fentanyl count.

The car Hickson was in was pulled over after being followed by police from Kamloops to Langley and most of the way back before being stopped near Merritt, Chan told Hyslop. Both the driver, Racquel Friedel, and Hickson were arrested at that time, when 490 pills containing fentanyl and more than 386 grams of cocaine were found in the car. The fentanyl was pressed to look like oxycontin pills, Chan said. According to expert opinions submitted by the Crown, the cocaine is worth approximately $30,000 and the pills between $4,800 and $9,600.

Chan says that other charges of possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of property obtained through crime against Hickson will likely be stayed and that Friedel’s case will be heard at a later date.

Hickson entered a guilty plea seven months ago.

Hickson was charged as part of an investigation which resulted in 45 charges to 13 people in 2014 and early 2015.

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