The B.C. Court of Appeal has previously declared that the normal range of sentencing for street-level fentanyl dealers should begin at 18 months.
Daniel Chesshire, on the other hand, has received a somewhat lighter sentence in B.C. Supreme Court, with Justice Nathan Smith ordering him to spend nine months in custody, followed by two years probation.
Chesshire was only 20 years old when he sold cocaine on three occasions in Delta on August 31 and early in the morning on September 1, 2016.
While the first batch only contained cocaine, the second and third were laced with fentanyl. That led to six people being hospitalized for overdoses.
"There can be little doubt that, but for the timely medical intervention, some or all of those overdoses would have been fatal," Smith wrote in his decision. "The number of overdoses in a short period also placed an unusually heavy strain on Delta’s emergency services."
Chesshire's lawyer argued that this was an exceptional case because that the goals of sentencing could be met by a suspended sentence.
First of all, Chesshire admitted to selling cocaine and insisted he did not know that there was any fentanyl present.
In addition, his mom testified that he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Moreover, his employers and coworkers provided positive character references.
The judge also concluded that Chesshire was "genuinely remorseful" and is unlikely to reoffend.
But that wasn't enough to justify a no time in custody.
"Mr. Chesshire was not a drug addict and was steadily employed at the time of the offence," Smith wrote. "He was not driven to drug trafficking by a need to support his own drug use, by other economic circumstances, or by mental health issues. The absence of any such need must be seen as an aggravating factor."