A counterfeit pill laced with fentanyl sells for $20 a tablet on the street, and can kill you. Image Credit: Jennifer Zielinski/Black Press

B.C. judge grants accused fentanyl dealer’s bail appeal

Dylan Friesen is alleged to have sold the powerful opioid to two undercover cops

A B.C. man alleged to have sold fentanyl to two undercover cops was set to be let out of months-long custody after a judge ruled the initial denial of bail was “inappropriate.”

Dylan Friesen was charged with two counts of trafficking fentanyl on March 28, in connection to two alleged incidents in January.

According to a ruling posted Thursday, Friesen allegedly sold 0.1 and .05 grams of fentanyl to three undercover police officer for $40 each, after the first undercover officer was referred to Friesen by a suspected drug trafficker.

Previously, Friesen worked as an underground miner and broke his back in a work-related incident in 2013. He spent six months in the hospital where he received the opioid pain medication, hydromorphone.

Friesen has since struggled with an opiate addiction of his own, the ruling said, and at one point lived in a homeless shelter in Maple Ridge. He has attended three courses relating to substance abuse since his arrest and says he’s avoided drugs.

In asking for bail, Friesen proposed that he post $300 in cash and be released to a recovery centre.

The initial judge acknowledged his addiction, but pointed to the staggering number of people who have died of an illicit drug overdose in B.C., saying “it is basically alleged that you knowingly trafficked in the source of this public health crisis.”

While considering the appeal, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson said despite the “very real fentanyl crisis in the Lower Mainland,” denying bail because of the type of drug in question is “inappropriate.”

“If that factor alone warranted the detention of an accused, everyone who is alleged to have trafficked in fentanyl would be detained pending trial,” Hinkson wrote.

He ruled Friesen to be released from custody on $600 bail, and ordered him to stay at a recovery centre in Surrey, with a curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. He is also banned from Maple Ridge’s city centre, also known as the “red zone.”

Since the crisis began, critics, such as parents of those who died from overdose, have called for harsher penalties for those caught trafficking fentanyl.

Just Posted

Coulson Aviation joins aerial fight against California fires

Vancouver Island-based Coulson sends two C-130 aircraft to fight fires

ADSS athletes step up for food drive

200 students, coaches and volunteers participate in annual athletic department food drive

Forest companies cancel Alberni council appearance

Forest companies pull out of scheduled Alberni council meeting, citing ‘safety concerns’

U-Cut Christmas trees enjoying popularity in Alberni Valley

Three U-Cut Christmas tree farms can be found on the way to the Alberni Valley Regional Airport

Port Alberni holds first Reconciliation Committee meeting

Committee discusses the possibility of creating a ‘made in Port Alberni’ response to TRC

SLIDESHOW: Breakfast with Santa at McLean Mill

McLean Mill hosts first-ever Breakfast with Santa event

VIDEO: Foggy-weather crash in Nanaimo caught on dashcam

Accident occurred Friday, Dec. 8 at about 6:20 p.m. at the old Island Highway and 107th Street

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

House burns down on outskirts of Nanaimo

Six occupants evacuate safely, but chicks die in fire Sunday

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at B.C. farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

Most Read