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‘Bedpan vigil’ flushes out drugs

A young man with a bad record for drug dealing could soon be getting out of jail.

Justin Chester is just 22 years old, but has already accumulated a criminal record that covers nine pages. He’s been in jail since July 16, 2010, when he was arrested again for trafficking. According to federal Crown prosecutor Paul Corbett, police were on patrol when they spotted a suspicious vehicle which was known to them.

Chester was a passenger in the vehicle and officers watched as the driver stopped to pick up a pedestrian and then began driving again. About 150 metres down the road, the driver stopped and the pedestrian got out.

The man was stopped and found with cocaine. That led officers to pursue and stop the suspect vehicle.

“This is a fairly common event in dial-a-dope operations,” noted Judge Thomas Dohm, at the March 14 sentencing hearing in Campbell River provincial court.

As police searched the vehicle, they found three cell phones near the front passenger’s seat and $430 in cash on Chester. More money was found inside the vehicle. Chester was taken into custody and police began a “bedpan vigil.” Several hours later, Chester passed nine “spitballs” of cocaine which totaled 1.85 grams.

His arrest came shortly after his release from jail on another drug trafficking charge stemming from December 2009. As well, Chester was convicted of drug trafficking earlier in 2009.

Chester had originally pleaded not guilty to the latest trafficking charge, but on Monday, changed his plea to guilty.

He was sentenced to 12 months jail, but was given credit for the eight months already served. That leaves four months on his sentence. However, Chester has already served two-thirds of the provincial sentence and criminals are typically released after serving two-thirds. His release will be followed by 18-months probation. During probation, Chester cannot possess any electronic communication devices or cell phones. The cell phones and cash seized in the July bust were forfeited to the Crown.

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