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Innes sentenced on trafficking and weapons offences

Charges stem from major drug bust by police in 2021.

REGINA — David Innes will spend the next eight years behind bars for trafficking and firearms offences.

Justice Darin Chow handed down the sentence on June 2 in an oral decision in Regina King’s Bench Court.

Innes, 50, offered guilty pleas back on March 9 to four of nine charges - two for trafficking (methamphetamine and fentanyl), and two for possession of a firearm, and possession of a loaded firearm for which he did not own.

Justice Chow noted in his sentencing how Innes is in the 96th percentile to reoffend, citing over 70 convictions on Innes’ criminal record since 1991 that included charges similar to those faced in this situation. Consequences for Innes’ actions began as conditional sentences, but soon increased to time in custody. While under a lifetime firearms prohibition related to a robbery in Alberta, Innes served just over 50 of 90 days before fleeing to Saskatchewan to break that order.

The charges Innes pleaded guilty to last month stem from an investigation that culminated in his arrest on Jan. 15, 2021. On that date, police executed seven search warrants throughout Regina, with co-accused Andrew Victor Lloyd Gordon also being arrested. According to the agreed statement of facts submitted to the court and read in Justice Chow’s decision, Innes and Gordon had been travelling in a rental car to the Regina International Airport when police made their bust.

“Between Jan. 6 and 15 of 2021, the Regina Drug Unit surveilled Mr. Innes, observing him in multiple short meets consistent with drug trafficking,” said Justice Chow. At that time, Innes was residing on Angus Street, but was also associated with what was believed to be several drug stash locations throughout the city.

During the bust at the airport, police discovered Innes was in possession of drugs with a street value “in excess of $28,000,” including 379.42 grams of methamphetamine, worth approximately $6,500 alone. He also had over 140 grams of fentanyl in his possession, valued at around $14,375.

“According to the agreed statement of facts, the defense concedes that Mr. Innes was engaged as a wholesale trafficker,” said Justice Chow. “At the time of his arrest, he was also found to be in the possession of $810 cash, a scale, and drug packaging material, and most notably, a loaded 41-calibre Taurus revolver.”

In total, the police seized 750 grams of fentanyl, 7,200 grams of methamphetamine, 140 grams of cocaine, $56,000 in Canadian currency from the Jan. 15 operation.

Innes was under two lifetime firearms prohibition order at the time of this arrest, and under probation for charges in Alberta.

“The fact that Mr. Innes was, at the time of his arrest, still on an unexpired intermittent sentence imposed a little more than six months earlier for possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking – the very same offence for which he is now going to be sentenced by this court – is a highly aggravating circumstance, as is the fact that he was found in possession of a loaded restricted handgun despite having twice being prohibited for life from possessing a firearm or ammunition of any kind,” said Justice Chow.

A heavy equipment operator for 20 years, Innes was gainfully employed as a sub-contractor for the City of Calgary until 2020. To his credit, Innes had “admitted his responsibility” and entered guilty pleas to four of the nine charges before him, and his own addiction issues were taken into consideration as factors in sentencing.

“While I’m mindful of the fact that Mr. Innes has struggled for many years with a debilitating addiction to alcohol and illicit drugs, it does not appear from the agreed statement of facts or the pre-sentence report that the predicate offences were motivated as much as a need to support his own habit as by a desire to profit,” said Justice Chow.

With regards to the two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, Innes was sentenced to 96 months (eight years) in jail to be served concurrent. As for the weapons offences, Justice Chow sentenced Innes to 36 months concurrent to each other, but consecutive to the previous charges. Since Innes has been in custody since the Jan. 15, 2021 arrest – some 869 actual days – enhanced credit of 43.5 months (just over three-and-a-half years) will be deducted from his sentence. Justice Chow chose to waive a victim fine surcharge considering the amount of time already served in these offences.

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