A Kamloops woman who sold small amounts of heroin laced with fentanyl to undercover police officers on two occasions in 2017 has been ordered to spend weekends incarcerated in cells at the RCMP’s detachment on Battle Street.
Anne-Marie Weisbeck, 54, was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Court heard Weisbeck found herself on police radar in the summer of 2017 after an informant turned over her name and phone number to the RCMP. Undercover Mounties called Weisbeck on Sept. 22, 2017, and said they were looking to score.
In a meeting near McArthur Island, Weisbeck sold the undercover investigators a “point of down” — one-tenth of a gram of heroin — for $20. Tests later showed the substance contained fentanyl.
The next day, undercover officers called Weisbeck and arranged another meeting. There, officers purchased another point of heroin mixed with fentanyl and a fifth of a gram of methamphetamine.
Justice Len Marchand sentenced Weisbeck to 90 days in jail, to be served every weekend beginning next Saturday. She also received 36 months of probation.
In sentencing Weisbeck, Marchand noted the fact she took responsibility for her actions by pleading guilty, expressed remorse, has reduced her own drug use and is maintaining full-time employment.
Aggravating factors included the length of time Weisbeck had been selling drugs, the fact she ran a dial-a-dope operation and, whether she realized it or not, she was trafficking fentanyl, which is at the centre of the opioid crisis in Canada.
“She put her need to pay her bills ahead of the lives of addicts,” Marchand said, noting Weisbeck should have been been aware of the risk the drugs could have been cut with the potent opioid.
Marchand said time behind bars was required, viewing the 90-day intermittent sentence in a holding cell at the police detachment as equivalent to a longer sentence served in a prison, while enabling Weisbeck to maintain her employment and seek additional help with her substance-use recovery.
“In my view, supporting Weisbeck’s recovery will best protect public safety in the long run,” Marchand said.
Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi had sought 19 months in jail, whereas Weisbeck’s defence counsel, Cameron Johnson, asked for a suspended sentence with the 36 months of probation.
In addition to the 90 days of jail time, Weisbeck was ordered to submit a sample of her DNA to a national criminal database and will be bound by a 10-year firearms prohibition.