Kamloops offender with firearm, drug offences could spend nearly seven years in jail - InfoNews

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Kamloops offender with firearm, drug offences could spend nearly seven years in jail

November 04, 2016 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - A man with more than 21 convictions on his record could spend nearly seven years in jail for being found with drugs and a gun.

Kyle Walsh, 27, was in the back alley of a downtown Kamloops motel on Feb. 3, 2015 when Kamloops RCMP Const. Christopher Reinburg showed up, responding to a complaint of two men entering a room inside the Fountain Motel with firearms.

Walsh told the officer he was just visiting a friend in the motel and had nothing to do with the complaint that came in.

Court documents say Reinburg told Walsh if he could provide him with a unit number and the name of the friend so police could eliminate him as a suspect, he could leave. Walsh said nothing and started backing towards his vehicle.

Reinburg searched Walsh and found he was in possession of heroin, worth about $320. 

After the search, the items found in Walsh's clothes were placed on his car. Reinburg told Walsh he was under arrest for possession for the purpose of trafficking and was about to escort him to the police car when Walsh bent forward and tried to swallow the baggies of heroin found in the search.

Court documents show Reinburg testified he was concerned for Walsh's wellbeing and hit the suspect in the jaw to stop him from swallowing the drugs. Reinburg eventually gained control of Walsh and radioed other officers for help.

Walsh's vehicle was searched next and Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi says Reinburg found a loaded sawed-off shotgun in the backseat.

"There can be no lawful purpose for having a (prohibited) firearm," Varesi told Kamloops Supreme Court today, Nov. 4.

At the time, Walsh was under two lifetime firearm prohibitions for previous offences and one 10-year firearm prohibition. Court heard Walsh has five previous convictions of assault causing bodily harm, two convictions of assault with a weapon and one conviction of aggravated assault, dating back to 2007.

A voir dire hearing was held last month to determine whether Reinburg had the right to arrest and search Walsh. The defendant had filed an application saying his rights were not read out to him in a timely manner during the event.

"The Crown has satisfied the burden of showing that the delay until Mr. Walsh was read his... Charter rights was reasonable in the circumstances," Judge Linda Loo says in her decision. "I do not find it necessary to deal with the accused's application."

Walsh is facing three charges including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possessing a restricted firearm.

Crown is asking for a six-year and nine month jail sentence, while defence lawyer Jay Michi is asking for four to five years jail.

Justice Loo is expected to make her decision at the end of this month.

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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