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

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Most Read