Pro­ba­tion is­sued on traf­fick­ing charge

The Prince George Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Mark NIELSEN Cit­i­zen staff mnielsen@pgc­i­t­i­

A for­mer Prince Ge­orge man has been sen­tenced to time served and three years pro­ba­tion on a count of pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.

Crown counsel had been seek­ing nine months in jail for David Shane Burlew but B.C. Supreme Court Jus­tice Ron Tin­dale found he had met the thresh­old for “ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.”

In Septem­ber, co-ac­cused Colin Michaud Dur­rand was is­sued a three-year sus­pended sen­tence also on a count of pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing.

But Dur­rand did not have a crim­i­nal record at the time of his ar­rest while Burlew had a pre­vi­ous drug-re­lated con­vic­tion. How­ever, Tin­dale also noted Burlew pleaded guilty, as did Dur­rand, and has since turned his life around.

He said Burlew has had a sig­nif­i­cant and on­go­ing drug-ad­dic­tion prob­lem through­out most of his adult life. By 2007, Burlew had cleaned up but two months be­fore his ar­rest on the mostre­cent mat­ter he had a re­lapse.

Since then, Burlew, who no longer lives in Prince Ge­orge, has re­mained off drugs and is now gain­fully em­ployed, sup­ports his aging mother, has strong sup­port in the com­mu­nity and is an avid vol­un­teer, Tin­dale noted.

Burlew and Dur­rand were ar­rested in Oc­to­ber 2015. Burlew and Dur­rand be­came the sub­ject of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter RCMP re­ceived a tip the two may be deal­ing in drugs.

The mat­ter came to a head when RCMP spot­ted an­other man head­ing to Burlew’s home, al­legedly car­ry­ing a .38 cal­i­bre re­volver, in­di­cat­ing they were ei­ther go­ing to strong-arm some­one or use it for pro­tec­tion.

The three, plus one more man, were then seen get­ting into Burlew’s pickup truck. When RCMP con­verged on the ve­hi­cle at a lo­cal mo­tel, they found 21 grams of metham­phetamine along with pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als and scales in the ve­hi­cle.

Burlew had spent 49 days in cus­tody fol­low­ing his ar­rest.

Charges against Jeremy James Mole re­lated to the gun were even­tu­ally stayed fol­low­ing a trial.

Charges were also stayed against the fourth man ar­rested at the scene.

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