Edmonton fentanyl dealer handed six-year prison sentence

·2 min read

An Edmonton fentanyl dealer has been sentenced to six years in prison for criminal negligence causing the death of a Sherwood Park father of two.

Jamie Dixon was also given a five-year concurrent sentence Wednesday for selling the deadly drug.

In February 2017, Dixon met with a customer in a south-Edmonton strip mall parking lot. That customer was a 39-year-old welder who had been prescribed Oxycontin to manage the pain of a back injury, according to an agreed statement of facts.

The man became an opioid addict and his addiction grew out of control.

Dixon sold him a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl for $400.

Once Dixon left, the buyer snorted some of the drugs. Court was told Dixon sent a text message to the man's phone.

"This stuff is different," the text read. "Are you all right?"

The married father of two daughters aged eight and nine suffered respiratory depression, fell into a coma and died, the court document said.

At the request of the victim's widow, who is concerned about her children, CBC News is not publishing the victim's name.

A friend found the victim's body inside a vehicle. Police were called to the scene that night.

Dixon, who later sold methamphetamine and fentanyl to an undercover police officer, was originally charged with manslaughter. He instead pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.

"He will wrestle with guilt for the rest of his life," defence lawyer Paul Moreau told the court.

Earlier this year, Dixon apologized to the victim's widow, calling the death a tragic accident.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," he said. "At the time, I was in active addiction and my selfish and reckless behaviour was at the root of my problem."

Dixon said he was addicted to heroin at the time and sold drugs to feed his habit.

According to a presentence report, Dixon said he has been drug free since his arrest in 2017. Once he was released on bail, he entered a drug treatment program and enrolled in an apprenticeship carpentry program that was derailed due to the pandemic.

Credit for time served

Dixon grew up in Toronto where, he said, he experienced racism and discrimination as a child, the presentence report said.

He said he started to drink alcohol heavily in his teens and began using drugs when he was 19, then became addicted to hard drugs.

Dixon, who is now in custody, has a criminal record that includes two aggravated assault and trafficking convictions. When he got out of prison in 2015, he moved to Edmonton in what he said was an effort to "do the right thing" for his personal well-being and employment.

With 23-months credit for time already served, Dixon has just more than four years left on his sentence.