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

US-$473 million Kemano second tunnel project gets the go-ahead

Construction will start in spring 2018 and will be completed by 2020.

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Be a pal, become a Snow Buddy

They are overworked trying to cope with all the driveways that need clearing.

PNGI founder Chris Arnold passes away at 48

Advocate for persons with physical, mental barriers remembered for the many lives he changed

Provincial government responds to anti-dumping duties

Our goal is to make sure we evaluate measures that help the sector grow and diversify

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Missing Alberta man could be headed to Victoria

Police in Alberta say Vernon “Allan” Pickard has not been heard from since late November

Cineplex charges extra at some Star Wars screenings

Fans are getting a surprise twist at the box office with extra $1 charges for assigned seating

Toddler sent to hospital following dog bite at Vancouver Island daycare

Malamute/husky cross involved in incident at 1200-block of Burnside Rd. West

Local guides aren’t happy with grizzly ban

Guides say new ban could end businesses, including first nations outfitters and float planes.

Provincial Contractor of the Year awards handed out across B.C.

Deputy Minister’s 2017 awards recognize excellence in transportation and infrastructure

Most Read