A man has been sentenced to six months in jail after being found in possession of small amounts of methamphetamine packaged for distribution in Vernon.
Tyler Wragg, 32, was convicted of possessing just 2.8 total grams of the schedule-1 drug on June 22, 2017. However, when police discovered the product in his vehicle they found it in 23 separate bags containing about 0.1 gram each, and another bag containing 0.5 grams.
The court heard that while Wragg was addicted to meth at the time of the offence, the packaging indicated the found substance was intended for distribution rather than personal use.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Harvey made the decision over a video call at the Vernon Law Courts Friday afternoon.
Crown attorney Michelle Reinhart conceded that Wragg’s criminal history was dated as his most recent charge was from September 2012. However, he did have a previous possession charge for an event dating back to March 2011, making him a second-time offender.
Wragg received one year probation, a lifetime ban on firearms and a DNA order in addition to the six months in custody.
It’s fairly uncommon for a case relating to such a small amount of controlled substance to span more than two and a half years and reach the Supreme Court, but the Crown and defence were pursuing divergent sentence lengths right up to Friday’s decision.
The Crown sought a sentence of 10 months in jail and 12 months probation, while Wragg’s counsel was seeking either a suspended sentence or a 90-day sentence on the basis that Wragg’s circumstances were exceptional.
Defence counsel Brian Loewen spoke to the fact that Wragg had stayed out of trouble ever since the offence and was involved in low-level trafficking to support his own addiction. He added that Wragg has been drug and alcohol free ever since he voluntarily admitted himself to a hospital psychiatric ward soon after the offence.
Justice John Harvey ruled that Wragg’s circumstances were not exceptional, in part because he had not entered an early guilty plea and had not expressed clear remorse. But Wragg’s final words at the Vernon Law Courts were contrite.
“This lifestyle isn’t mine,” he said before the court prior to his sentencing. “These courts will never see me again, no matter what happens.”