While sentencing a mid-level Chilliwack drug dealer to six months in jail on Thursday, a BC Supreme Court justice repeatedly addressed the seriousness of trafficking in drugs, which he said is currently causing widespread harm in society.
“The drug crisis has caused so many lives to be lost,” Justice Neill Brown said in passing the sentence to Jamie Leanne Rogers who pleaded guilty to selling full heroin by the ounce to an undercover RCMP officer on more than one occasion.
“It is, in short, an evil whose reach into our community has been devastating,”
While Brown sentenced her to six months in jail with credit of 68 days in pre-trial custody. Following her release, Rogers faces 18 months probation with strict conditions.
At the sentencing hearing April 17, Crown asked for a sentence of one year in jail while Rogers argued a fit sentence was three months.
The case dates back three years and involves three other accused, Bryan Leslie Schapansky, Constantinos “Gus” Anthony and Dina Anthony.
Schapansky also pleaded guilty but is yet to be sentenced, and the Anthonys are going to trial.
The court heard that Schapansky sold small quantities of heroin to an undercover officer who then asked Schapansky if he could get larger amounts. That’s when Rogers was called and on two separate occasions handed over an ounce of heroin in exchange for $3,400 cash.
Crown argued that the 33-year-old was a mid-level drug dealer, while defence stated she was low-level, selling to finance her own addiction.
Crown counsel Susan Gill said Rogers expressed a lack of insight into her behaviour and the impact on the broader community. Gill said a probation officer noted in a report the sheer volume of breaches Rogers has committed, and that the officer “believes Ms. Rogers is seriously entrenched in the criminal sub-culture.”
She suggested it takes serious connections to get access to heroin by the ounce.
In passing sentence on April 26, Justice Brown reiterated the probation officers assessment of Rogers who stated that she fails to have insight into the harm drug dealing has on society.
“She believes she dos not owe anything to society for her offence,” Brown said.
Defence showed that she was looking to change, increasingly caring for her children and had a letter from an employer of a landscaping company who she had been working for briefly.
Schapansky is scheduled to be sentenced in the case on August 13. The Anthonys are next due in court May 7 to fix a date for trial.