'Merchants of death': Lengthy sentence for Vernon fentanyl dealer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon News

'Merchants of death': Lengthy sentence for Vernon fentanyl dealer


Vernon resident Cody Carl Charles Wellington was on bail and supposed to be living in a treatment centre under 24-hour house arrest when he stole a Ford F-350 from someone's driveway.

A couple of hours later the stolen truck was spotted parked at a property on Pleasant Valley Road. An RCMP officer then opened the driver's door and told Cody he was under arrest.

According to a June 26 Provincial Court of BC decision, Cody responded "oh shit" before putting the truck into reverse and putting his foot down.

The truck's open door dragged the officer about 20 feet before the 30-year-old slammed the brakes and accelerated forward running over the officer’s foot. 

He then narrowly missed another RCMP officer, drove through a retaining wall and a chain link fence, before heading through a neighbouring property and hitting the garage.

The truck then sped off at high speed dragging a part of the fence behind it. The fence piece was later found almost one kilometre away.

Remarkably, Cody managed to get away.

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His crime spree continued and two days later, he stole a Polaris side-by-side from a property in Lavington and drove through two fields damaging crops before eventually flipping the vehicle while driving through a fence.

As police approached, Cody fled on foot before pulling a can of bear spray and spraying an officer.

Police used their own spray on him and finally arrested Cody.

The decision said the events happened while Cody was on bail having been charged with trafficking fentanyl, carfentanil and cocaine.

He'd also not long been out of prison having been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for possessing an illegal firearm.

On June 26, Cody appeared at the Vernon courthouse waiting to hear how long he'd spend behind bars for a series of crimes that started after he was busted for drug dealing.

The decision said in June 2021, Cody and his brother Brandon Wellington were under surveillance as police believed they were operating a street-level to mid-level drug trafficking operation.

Police raided the property finding more than 100 baggies of fentanyl and carfentanil, along with rocks of cocaine. The drugs were estimated to be worth $4,220.

The decision said Cody was seen to be the main perpetrator and stayed the proceedings against Brandon.

In 2015, Brandon, who was 18 years old at the time, made headlines after being arrested and charged with second-degree murder after the body of Jason Hardy was found in Polson Park. However, the charges against him were later stayed.

READ MORE: STONEWALLED: Break-in victim does her own police work after Vernon RCMP inaction

Along with the drugs, police also found illegal firearms with no serial number, a "red dot" site and a bulletproof vest.

Cody was arrested and incarcerated but made bail two weeks later on the condition he stayed in the treatment centre.

He didn't and went on to steal the truck and the side-by-side. He was prohibited from driving at the time.

He also contacted the mother of one of his children which he was barred from doing having been convicted of breaking into her place and threatening her earlier that year.

BC Provincial Court Judge George Leven described Cody's crimes as a "cocktail" of some of the most dangerous criminal activities "plaguing" communities.

"Those who traffic fentanyl and carfentanil in our communities are quite literally, merchants of death," Judge Leven said, adding that the negative impact on society was "immeasurable."

The judge said his driving was "horrendous" and happened in a densely populated urban area.

READ MORE: Crown decides against charges for three Kamloops cops

Crown prosecutors wanted Cody to spend 10 years behind bars, while the defence had asked for six.

The decision said Cody has "some remorse" for his crimes but lacks insight into the impact of his offences.

The court documents said he has 13 previous convictions including two for drug trafficking.

"He had a tragic upbringing. He grew up surrounded by violence, poverty and drugs and in an environment where violence and criminal behaviour were normalized," the judge said. "Both his parents were drug addicts, moved frequently and were unable to provide him and his siblings with a stable home."

The decision said he was physically and sexually abused as a child and put into foster care at age 10. He started selling drugs at age 12 and the first person he ever sold drugs to was his own father.

Ultimately, the judge sentenced Cody to 10-years in jail minus roughly three years for time he'd already spent in custody.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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