B.C. crime: $15 fentanyl sale gets man 2 years in prison


A B.C. man who sold $15 worth of fentanyl, which he claimed was methamphetamine, to an undercover police officer has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.


Milad Faud Herbert was sentenced in New Westminster last month and the brief decision was posted online Thursday.


“Fentanyl has been described as a scourge on our civilization,” Supreme Court Justice Kenneth W. Ball’s decision reads.


“Apparently Mr. Herbert did not know what he was selling. This is because he represented the substance he was selling as methamphetamine. If someone had used it as methamphetamine, they would likely be dead today, given that the ingestion of a very small amount of fentanyl can be fatal.”


Court records show that Herbert was found guilty of one count of trafficking in fentanyl following a two-day trial in March 2022. The charge dated back to an undercover operation near a transit station in February 2020.


One of the witnesses was the undercover officer who purchased the drugs from Herbert. The officer’s identity is protected by a publication ban.


“The area around the Surrey SkyTrain station was described as an area where there is an open frequent sale of illicit drugs and that is commonplace; hence, the drug interdiction operation,” the judge who convicted Herbert noted.


The officer asked Herbert if he could buy $20 worth of crack cocaine and Herbert said all he had to offer was methamphetamine, court documents say.


“Officer No. 1 offered $15 because the flap did not seem to contain the requisite amount of drugs. He felt the small amount was worth $15. The man accepted $15 in cash for the flap,” the judge wrote.


Based on the testimony of five police officers, the judge found there was no reasonable doubt that Herbert was the person who had “delivered” the drugs during the sting. The judge also found that the substance was fentanyl, based on test results from Health Canada.


The sentence of two years plus one day, the minimum amount needed to send someone to a federal prison, was put forward in a joint submission by Crown and defense.


In his reasons for accepting the proposed sentence, Ball said there are “in the federal system, a heightened level of rehabilitative services; available to persons sentenced.” He noted Herbert had already completed some drug and alcohol programming in provincial jail and had met with a psychiatrist. The decision did not elaborate on Herbert’s personal circumstances, including whether or not he had a previous criminal record.


“Hopefully with those beginnings, the rehabilitative process during the upcoming sentence will be a positive one,” Ball told the court.


“Mr. Herbert does not need to be here again. There are all kinds of positive things he can do with his life and I hope he will do them.”

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