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

CAO reports to District of Barriere on well construction

Status of well construction and paving projects reported to council

$2.18 million for Heffley bridge

$500,000 more than originally estimated

VIDEO: Three workers identified as victims of Fernie ammonia leak

A local state of emergency will remain in effect until Oct. 24 after the leak at the ice rink

Adult learners getting literacy tools to thrive

YCS adult literacy programs in Clearwater and Barriere get provincial funding

BREAKING: Three fatalities confirmed at Fernie Memorial Arena

Emergency crews responded to the arena after reports came in of an ammonia leak

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UPDATE: Fire now estimated to be 1,500 hectares

Evacuation ordered for 103, 108, 105 Mile and the western part of Lac la Hache

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Most Read