A judge granted an ‘unusual appeal,’ deeming a small amount of fentanyl found on Dezmond White to be for personal use and not for trafficking, which reduced his sentence from two years to 90 days. (Unsplash)

A judge granted an ‘unusual appeal,’ deeming a small amount of fentanyl found on Dezmond White to be for personal use and not for trafficking, which reduced his sentence from two years to 90 days. (Unsplash)

Victoria drug dealer granted ‘unusual appeal’: Judge deems fentanyl found was for personal use

Appeal reduces Dezmond White’s sentence from two years to just 90 days

A Victoria drug dealer was granted an “unusual appeal” of his sentence for trafficking 0.4 grams of fentanyl from two years to 90 days according to a judgment posted online earlier this week.

Dezmond Anthony White was found to be in possession of the fentanyl for personal use, not for trafficking by Justice Patrice Abrioux on Dec. 4 after being sentenced on Feb. 25.

At trial, Crown conceded that the fentanyl possessed by White was for personal use, to which both parties submit the trial judge disregarded without giving notice, resulting in unfairness to White.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Oak Bay father who killed daughters eligible for parole after 22 year

“While I accept that it was open to the judge to reject the Crown’s concession and reach his own conclusions concerning whether the fentanyl was possessed for the purpose of trafficking regardless of the position taken by the Crown, in my view, if he was not prepared to accept the Crown’s concession, he was obliged to advise counsel of this and give the defence an opportunity to address the point,” wrote Abrioux in his reasons for granting the appeal.

On Oct. 25, 2016, a vehicle was stopped by police in which White was a passenger in the back seat, as he exited the vehicle, police saw something shiny in his pocket, thinking it was a gun they called for back up. All three men in the vehicle were arrested.

The 0.4 grams of fentanyl and $2,510 in cash were found on White. In addition, more drugs were found in a backpack in the back seat, a sunglasses case containing drugs was found near the front seat and a semi-automatic handgun was located in the back seat. Police searched a nearby hotel room and found a small quantity of drugs, a scale and a large sum of cash.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay father appeals conviction for killing daughters

Of the three men, White was the only one who went to trial where one of his co-accused testified the drugs in the backpack and sunglasses case were his. The trial judge considered the cash to be telling and stated the quantity of drugs is not always indicative of trafficking.

“A dealer can be supply heavy and cash low at the beginning of a day, and supply low and cash heavy at the end of a day of dealing,” stated the trial judge.

White was sentenced to five years in jail, two years for trafficking fentanyl and three years for possession of a restricted firearm concurrent to 18 months for occupying a vehicle knowing there was a firearm.

Abrioux determined a sentence of 90 days was fit for the downgraded charge of simple possession of fentanyl, as opposed to the trafficking charge. White was given 321 days credit for time spent in custody awaiting trial leaving him with almost two and a half years left on his sentence.

“Trial fairness requires that a full and fair opportunity be given to both parties to address or make submissions on a point of fact or law that may be troubling the court,” wrote Abrioux. “Had the trial judge indicated his intention to reject the Crown’s concession, or that he was concerned by it, the appellant could have argued that the fentanyl was not possessed by him for the purpose of trafficking.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read