Vernon fentanyl dealer will wait another week before heading to prison - InfoNews

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Vernon fentanyl dealer will wait another week before heading to prison

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
May 16, 2019 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - A 24-year-old Vernon man guilty of dealing fentanyl and other drugs will see another week of freedom before he's back in court and sentenced to prison time.

Judge Jeremy Guild simply ran out of time during the May 15 sentence hearing of convicted drug dealer Tomohiro Doige and adjourned the case for another week.

The court heard how Doige had recently resigned from work with the knowledge he was going to prison that day. In the courtroom, Doige asked his father whether he could stay with him for a week before he would be back in court and his inevitable prison sentence would begin.

The court heard how in January 2018 the 24-year-old was picked up by police and found with dozens of individually packaged amounts of fentanyl, crack cocaine and heroin on him. A search warrant for the basement suite where Doige lived later uncovered more than 100 packages of the same drugs. At the time of his arrest, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP had said they'd made multiple arrests which were part of a dial-a-dope scheme.

Doige pled guilty to two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. The co-accused in the case, Colton Thorsen, had his charges stayed by the Crown.

Crown lawyer Michelle Reinhart asked for the guilty pleas to be amended adding fentanyl to the charges. Reinhart asks for a sentence of four years in prison. The crown argues selling fentanyl is different from other drugs - pointing to the huge number of overdose deaths the drug has caused.

Defence lawyer Nicholas Jacob argued Doige was "clearly a retailer" and "on the low end" when it came to drug dealers and requested an 18-month prison sentence.

The court heard Doige got $5 for every bag he sold and he started dealing to support his own drug habit although had dealt drugs out of greed. The total street value of the drugs Doige was caught with would be roughly $4,300.

"It's clear he was involved in that lifestyle and enjoyed the fruits of that lifestyle," Jacob said.

The defence lawyer pointed out that Doige had turned his life around since the arrest and gone back to college and had employment. Jacob said more than a dozen family and friends, including parents and grandparents, along with Doige's four-month-old daughter, were in the courtroom to show their support.

Doige addressed Judge Guild telling him he was deeply regretful for what he had done.

"The crimes I committed not only damaged those who took them but the community as well," Doige said. "I realize there are consequences for my actions."

As the clock ticked towards the end of the day, Justice Guild told Doige he understood it was stressful waiting but he wanted to make sure he was giving the appropriate sentence. Doige will be back in court May 23 for sentencing.

— This story was corrected at 11:58 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. An early version of this story incorrectly said defence lawyer Nicholas Jacob argued Doige should receive a three-year prison sentence. Jacob actually said Doige should receive an 18-month sentence.

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