Grow-op vigilanted justice gets man jail time

A man responsible for a South Okanagan break and enter and assault over a legal marijuana grow operation is spending the next year in jail.

Bryce Michael Williamson, 28, was sentenced to 991 days (just over 2.5 years) for multiple charges including a break and enter into a South Okanagan home where he assaulted a man.

The break and enter and assault stemmed from a legal marijuana grow-op run by his grandfather and Richard Stagg. After his grandfather faced some medical issues, Williamson put his own money into the operation.

Related: Man facing four years for “vigilante justice” over grow-op money

During sentencing submissions in March, defence counsel James Pennington said a crop went missing along with $20,000 of equipment. Williamson was trying to salvage the business and his grandfather’s investment, in what Pennington called a form of “vigilante justice” when he threatened Stagg in December 2015 and later broke into Stagg’s home.

Stagg was away on holidays in Alberta and asked his father to check in on the residence while he was gone. Stagg’s father had noticed a break in had occurred and told his son the house had been ransacked.

While checking on the residence later that day, Stagg’s father was confronted by Williamson holding a large knife. Stagg’s father was knocked to the ground and Williamson held the knife to his head. Williamson told him he was going to kill him and his family.

Stagg’s father eventually escaped the house and the RCMP responded to the break and enter at the residence on Road 2 in Oliver. Williamson attempted to run into the back yard where police cornered him.

He was released on a promise to appear in court on Dec. 27, 2015 and was later arrested after unsuccessfully attempting to cash two forged checks. He was once again released on a promise to appear in court and on Feb. 11, 2016 Williamson failed to report as per the conditions of his release.

Williamson was later located driving on Highway 33 in Kelowna and gave the police the wrong name. He was a prohibited driver at the time. He has been in custody since.

Williamson was sentenced April 28 in Penticton Provincial Court. Including pre-trial custody credit, Williamson has served 504 days of his sentence already with 487 days of jail time remaining.

A 10-year weapons prohibition was also issued for Williamson.