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Driver in fatal crash pleads guilty in drug case

Jun 09 2012

An 18-year-old Sooke man who was the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash on West Coast Road in April pleaded guilty Friday to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Victoria provincial court judge Jeanne Harvey sentenced David James Chiasson to 14 days in jail and one year of probation.

Federal prosecutor Ann Macdonald told the court that Victoria police targeted the area in front of McDonald's in the 1100 block of Douglas Street, which is known for marijuana trafficking.

At 3: 08 p.m. on March 16, an undercover officer walked up to a group of men and asked if "anyone could help her with some green."

Chiasson said he could. They left the corner, walked down the street and Chiasson sold the undercover officer three grams of pot for $20, said Macdonald.

Later, after Chiasson was arrested, police found 21 grams of marijuana in his backpack.

Defence lawyer Bradley Hickford told Harvey that Chiasson is from Calgary and has the support of his mother, sister and stepfather.

Chiasson, who has completed Grade 10, is in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, and is trying to upgrade his schooling. Chiasson has worked in the restaurant and construction industry and can get work back in Calgary, Hickford said.

"This is his first offence and it is only a small amount of marijuana," Hickford said.

Harvey told Chiasson he can return to Alberta when he is released from custody as long as he notifies his probation officer.

The judge imposed a 10year weapons' prohibition and banned Chiasson from going to the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Douglas Street.

Nicolas Twiddy was killed in the April 9 crash on West Coast Road.

Two others, Steve Livingstone, 18, and 15-year-old Maria Forbes, were injured.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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