A man who sold drugs to pay for a ticket to Shambhala in 2010 has received a conditional sentence.

Conditional discharge for Shambhala mushroom seller

A 32-year-old man who sold mushroom capsules to undercover police officers near the Shambhala festival won’t have a criminal record.

A 32-year-old man who sold mushroom capsules to undercover police officers near the Shambhala festival two years ago won’t have a criminal record so long as he complies with conditions that include providing anti-drug education to youth.

A Nelson court heard this week that the man sold $20 worth of magic mushrooms to the officers in an off-site campground on August 2, 2010 to help pay for a ticket to the festival. (It’s unclear if there were any left; the festival sold out that year and each year since.)

Federal prosecutor Rob Brown asked for a three-month conditional sentence, saying general deterrence was a concern and called Shambhala a “feeding ground of drug activity.”

“Drug dealing is rampant [at Shambhala],” he said. “The volume is extraordinary.”

Brown pointed to a fatality at this year’s festival, the first in its 15-year history, which may be linked to drugs and also referred to the disappearance of Owen Rooney, who attended the festival before he went missing from Grand Forks.

Defence lawyer William Westcott, however, noted it was a first offence and said his client had no intention of selling drugs on the festival site. He was arrested a year later while working at a hotel in Victoria, and lost his job as a result. He is now self-employed.

Westcott said he appreciated the seriousness of the offence but asked the judge to impose a conditional discharge, since a criminal record would affect the man’s ability to travel internationally — he is originally from Hungary and has family there.

Brown conceded the man was “not the typical dealer” and the case involved “significantly less” drugs than in similar cases.

Judge Ron Fabbro said he wasn’t satisfied the drug transaction was related to sales on the festival site or to young people who have overdosed or disappeared.

He imposed a conditional discharge including six months probation and 40 hours of community service, part of which will consist of anti-drug education in schools or other settings.

“Because he’s young … it’s in his best interest that a discharge be granted,” Fabbro said. He also told the accused: “The Crown took a very fair position. You may not get these breaks in the future.”

The man was one of more than 20 people charged with various drug trafficking offences following a project dubbed E-Pylorus that targed dealers at the Kaslo Jazz Festival, Nakusp Music Fest, Shambhala, and Grand Forks International baseball tournament.

 

Just Posted

Nelson’s oldest veteran dies at 99

Lionel Binette was well known for his annual recitation of In Flanders Fields on Remembrance Day

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Update: Car located in Pend d’Oreille River, teenagers remain missing

A fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale to help support the family

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Most Read