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B.C. man jailed for sexual abuse should get three more years for drug dealing, says Crown

Da Wei Chen pleaded guilty to seven counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Vancouver Provincial Court

A B.C. Crown prosecutor says a convicted child sexual abuser who pleaded guilty to drug charges should be jailed for another three years on top of five years he is already serving.

Da Wei Chen, 29, has pleaded guilty to seven counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge David St. Pierre heard April 8.

“I’m sorry for my actions,” Chen told the judge. “I have been working on myself and I’m making progress.”

Prosecutor James Cook told the judge that Chen was arrested in the 200-block of Vancouver’s East Hastings Street March 4, 2021.

When he was searched, police found 67.35 grams of fentanyl and another drug, 200.6 grams of methamphetamine, 18.63 grams of cocaine and $9,195.

Cook said Chen was observed by police on May 21, 2021 engaged in a drug deal at 1176 Granville Street.

When police arrested the former Trent University business administration student for trafficking, they found 67.36 grams of methamphetamine, 5.54 grams of cocaine, 394.17 grams of hydromorphone pills and 10.42 grams of fentanyl and another drug, Cook said.

Police also found a Smith & Wesson BB gun.

“It looks like a real handgun,” Cook said. “It is a weapon.”

Cook presented a coroner’s report on drug deaths to the court, noting British Columbia is in the middle of a public health emergency, in which “thousands of people have lost their lives to overdoses.”

Defence lawyer David Karp called Crown’s suggested sentence “harsh” and proposed a sentence of 9 to 12 months. Cook called that “woefully inadequate.”

The defence lawyer said his client was remorseful and had accepted responsibility for his actions through his guilty pleas.

“He’s running his drug operations out of an alley,” Karp said. “This is low-sophistication drug dealing.”

St. Pierre said he would render his decision at a later date.

Chen is already serving a five-year prison sentence for sexual interference of two girls aged 12 and 14.

In her June 29 sentencing decision, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Wendy Baker said Chen had supplied the vulnerable girls with alcohol and drugs.

“While they were in a state of severe intoxication and vulnerability, Mr. Chen took advantage of them sexually for his own gratification,” Baker said.

“I find Mr. Chen's actions were highly physical intrusive acts of violence and are an aggravating feature of the offences.”