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

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Falcons host basketball invitational

40 student volunteers helped support 180 players, 28 games

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read