A Trail man has been sentenced to seven years behind bars for a series of violent crimes that began New Year’s Eve 2017.
Brandon Coons, 26, was found guilty of five charges after a two-week trial by judge, held in Rossland Provincial Court in July.
Those convictions included assault with a weapon, possession of a restricted weapon, and trafficking cocaine.
According to court documents, the case began to unfold on Dec. 31, 2017 when Coons picked up a male, formerly of Trail, at the Greyhound bus stop in Castlegar.
Given the nature of these crimes, the victim will not be identified.
Coons then drove the man to Birchbank Station Road near Trail.
Shortly thereafter, two masked men, never identified by police, arrived at the location in a second vehicle. They pulled the victim from Coons’ vehicle, and proceeded to punch and kick him.
Court records state that Coons joined in the assault of the victim, and that during the assault, a baton-style stun gun was used.
The victim was accused of stealing $20,000 worth of marijuana from Coons, although this accusation was not established during the course of the police investigation.
To stop the beating and possibly buy himself some time to later escape, the victim told his assailants that he took the marijuana to Chilliwack.
The assault subsequently stopped and the two masked men left the scene in their vehicle. Coons then drove the victim to his place of residence, near Trail.
According to court documents, the victim was forcibly confined inside Coons’ home for an hour.
The victim later reported to police that during this forced confinement, Coons pointed a black revolver-style gun at his head, and told the victim that he would have no problem shooting him.
Soon after, two males arrived by vehicle at the residence and picked up the victim. These men have now been identified as 33-year-old Scott Bolton and Rylee Fines, 27.
Bolton and Fines drove the victim toward Chilliwack to recover the allegedly stolen cannabis. The victim reported he was stun-gunned several times during the trip.
When the trio stopped at a gas station in Kelowna, the victim escaped by locking himself in the gas station bathroom. Court records state he called the police from his cell phone.
This is why the initial investigation began in the Okanagan.
Bolton and Fines did not go to trial, instead they both chose to enter guilty pleas.
Earlier this year in May, Bolton pled guilty to Forcible Confinement and Assault with a Weapon in Rossland Provincial Court. He was sentenced to 251 days in jail, and upon release, will be subject to 18 months months of probation and a mandatory firearms prohibition for 10 years.
Fines appeared in Rossland Provincial Court on July 4 and was found guilty on charges of Forcible Confinement, Assault With a Weapon, and Use of Imitation Firearm While Committing the Indictable Offence of Threatening.
He is currently awaiting sentencing.
Prior to his trial, Coons had been incarcerated for 18+ months.
Though he was sentenced to seven years, the court credited time-served, thereby reducing Coons’ term to four years and 252 days.
This reduced sentence resulted from four guilty convictions; assault with a weapon, use of an imitation firearm, possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon (brass knuckles), and Possession of Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine).
The fifth conviction was for uttering threats. Coons was given a five-year sentence for this crime, but with time served, it was reduced to two years and 252 days.
All his convictions will run concurrent to each other (at the same time).
Coons will have a mandatory lifetime prohibition for firearms upon his release from jail.