(Black Press Media file)

B.C. drug courier gets 5.5 years in prison for delivering $350K in fentanyl, cocaine

Pedro Dwayne Kematch, 35, was sentenced on Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court

  • May. 30, 2019 3:30 p.m.

Kamloops This Week

A Vancouver father of four who began transporting large quantities of fentanyl and cocaine after work dried up in Alberta’s oilsands will spend more than five years in a federal prison.

Pedro Dwayne Kematch, 35, was sentenced on Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Prior to his arrest, court heard, police became aware Kematch was part of a large-scale drug trafficking group transporting fentanyl and cocaine from B.C. to other provinces.

On Feb. 28, 2015, an Acura being driven by Kematch was pulled over for speeding near Kamloops. Inside, police found a backpack and a hidden compartment containing 9,950 fentanyl pills and 487 grams of cocaine — drugs with a potential street value of nearly $350,000.

Federal Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi said the fentanyl pills had been stamped to look like counterfeit Oxycontin.

“The accused was obviously a trusted member of this organization to be transporting such a large amount,” Varesi said. “The number of fentanyl pills seized is quite alarming. It’s of course now a national health crisis.”

Defence lawyer John Gustafson said Kematch had been supporting his family with his work in Alberta. When his partner went back to school, Gustafson said, Kematch had to find a new job closer to home in the Lower Mainland.

“He very quickly fell into a situation where he was quite desperate,” Gustafson said. “It’s these circumstances that led to him being involved in these events.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley stressed the danger posed by fentanyl in handing down his sentence.

“The impact on society that fentanyl has had is well-known,” he said. “In some sense, trafficking in fentanyl is akin to trafficking in a death sentence.”

Dley agreed to a five-and-a-half-year joint submission presented by Varesi and Gustafson.

In addition to the time behind bars, Kematch will also be barred for life from possessing firearms. He was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.

Dley also ordered the modified Acura forfeited to the Crown.

ALSO READ: B.C.’s opioid crisis leads to first stall in Canadian life expectancy in 40 years

ALSO READ: First Nations people in B.C. four times more likely to die of an overdose


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Young black bear killed downtown Chilliwack

Video shows bear running down residential street moments earlier

Severe thunderstorm possible for Fraser Valley

Environment Canada has put out a watch for the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Chilliwack man faces Motor Vehicle Act charge for crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

UPDATE: ‘Spontaneous combustion’ likely cause of fire at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were at the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Surrey B.C. mayor says the RCMP has announced it will unionize

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Man arrested for alleged indecent act after ‘predatory’ SkyTrain incident

A woman had reported the man had exposed himself while on the train on April 29

Most Read