KAMLOOPS - A man who came to Kamloops and became involved with drug trafficking will find out next week how long he will need to spend behind bars for his crimes.
Christopher Pace, 22, pleaded guilty this morning, June 28, to possession of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and crack cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of stolen cash.
Kamloops Supreme Court heard that Pace was part of a group in Kamloops trying to set up a local branch of the Wolfpack gang.
RCMP became aware of the group and its alleged leader Bruce Davis in October 2015, Crown prosecutor Iain Currie said. The Wolfpack was trying to extend its reach into Kamloops for the purpose of selling cocaine, heroin and meth.
Police began surveilling Davis and his girlfriend Amanda Nicholson, and in the last few weeks of their investigation they began noticing Pace, who Currie says went by the street name Nastee.
Currie says Pace was living with Davis and Nicholson in a Batchelor Heights home in May 2016. He was seen coming in and out of the residence several times.
On May 26, 2016, police had information that Pace was going to be reloading drugs to send down to the Coast. Police had bugged Pace's car and confirmed he made the trip down.
Upon his arrival back in Kamloops, police saw Pace bring a box into the townhome and executed a search warrant that day. Pace was later arrested nearby for conspiracy to traffic.
Currie says Davis was the higher up in the organization compared to Pace, who was living in the downstairs suite of the townhouse at the time. When police searched Pace's area of the home, they found thousands of dollars worth of drugs, along with $3,700 worth of cash and a digital scale. They also found a T-shirt with the word Nastee on it.
"Mr. Pace was contributing to the criminal organization called the Wolfpack," Currie says. "He was living with the leader of the local organization... I would say the involvement of an organized crime gang and Mr. Pace's involvement in that... suggests a range of 18 to 24 months."
Pace was released in December on house arrest, which means he's spent more than six months in custody. Currie says Pace doesn't have a criminal record or a drug problem, he was driven by money.
"It appears to be a case where Mr. Pace was (motivated) by greed," Currie says. "It's frankly hard to rehabilitate a character flaw."
Pace's defence lawyer Paul Ferguson says there's more to the story and his client should be given a sentence of time-served.
"Drugs did play a role in this decision, along with a good dose of youthful naivety," Ferguson says.
Ferguson says Pace understands the ramifications of his actions and he's removed himself from his former associates. He also says Pace never lived permanently with Davis and Nicholson, adding he was couch-surfing.
Ferguson says Pace, who was at one point estranged from his family, has done what he can to repair that relationship.
The sentencing hearing concluded this afternoon, but Supreme Court judge Hope Hyslop will make her decision next week.
– This story was updated at 3:56 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, 2017 to include new information from court proceedings.
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