Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo man sentenced for dealing fentanyl while on bail after previous drug trafficking

Robert John Harper has another three and a half years tacked on to jail time

A drug dealer who was caught dealing fentanyl while on bail facing previous drug-trafficking charges has had another three and a half years added to his jail time.

Robert John Harper, convicted this past winter of possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, was sentenced last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo and the judge’s decision was published this week.

Harper, who is 35 years old, was arrested outside a low-income housing project in Nanaimo in August 2019 with more than an ounce of fentanyl, eight grams of methamphetamine and “not an inconsiderable amount of benzodiazepine, which combined with fentanyl, has disastrous effects on users,” according to Justice Robin Baird’s sentencing decision.

This past spring, Harper was found guilty of possession of meth and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking from October 2017 and sentenced to 27 months’ jail, with 11 months’ credit for time served.

The 2019 offences happened while Harper was on bail following the 2017 offences.

“You were poised to traffic in these pernicious, lethal substances to the residents of a low‑income housing project in which I was reliably informed many drug‑addicted and disadvantaged people live…” said the judge, addressing the guilty party. “The offences before me are extremely serious and a heavy penalty has to be paid.”

The three-and-a-half-year sentence will be added to the jail term Harper is already serving.

The judge waived the victim surcharge fine after defence counsel noted that while Harper had potential to earn money to pay the fine, “he is going away for some time.”

READ ALSO: Fentanyl dealer who crashed, ditched shotgun and hid in Port McNeill forest sentenced in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island fentanyl dealer who knew buyers were overdosing sentenced to 3 years



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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