An 18-year-old homeless man from British Columbia has managed to get his prison sentence overturned this week, after being arrested for selling $20 worth of fentanyl-laced heroin to an undercover police officer. On Tuesday, the British Columbia Court of Appeal sentenced the man to just 26 months in jail, rather than the three years that the crown had been pushing for.
The man initially pleaded guilty to selling the substance to the undercover officer in Kelowna, but later appealed his sentence. According to court documents obtained by Global News, the man was “homeless, living on the streets, and addicted to heroin, when an undercover police officer saw him consuming drugs and asked to purchase some from him.”
The homeless man then sold $20 worth of the fentanyl-laced heroin to the undercover cop, which was believed to be about 0.2 grams.
While the prosecution was initially seeking out a jail sentence of three years, the the Court of Appeal handed Schneider a suspended sentence, with 36 months of probation.
According to court documents, the man had been working on improving his drug issues following the arrest, and was 23-months clean by the time of sentencing
Reports from Global News revealed that the Court of Appeal decision said, “While in custody (some of which was in relation to another matter) for approximately six months after arrest, he completed 22 self-improvement and life skills modules.”
It was also noted that the man had been placed in a recovery house after being released on bail, where he followed the strict conditions without breach for approximately 17 months.
This isn't the first time fentanyl laced drugs have been a problem in Canada. Earlier this year, the province of Ontario released an overdose alert, warning marijuana users in the area that a pot-like substance had been discovered that contained a drug believed to be 100 times more toxic than fentanyl.
Police at the time warned users to steer clear of any unusual substances, noting that an overdose of the affected-marijuana would be more-than-possible.
While the Court of Appeal did overturn the homeless man’s original sentence, his probation terms are considerable. Conditions include obeying an overnight curfew, remaining in recovery at Logan Lake, and performing more than 100 hours of community service.