B.C. judge says man's COVID rule breaking was like dealing fentanyl on the street

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VANCOUVER — A British Columbia provincial court judge compared a man's actions breaking COVID-19 rules to selling the powerful opioid fentanyl on the street as she sentenced him.

Mohammad Movassaghi was handed one day in jail, a $5,000 fine and 18 months' probation after previously pleading guilty to disobeying a court order and two counts of failing to comply with a health officer's order.

Vancouver police used a search warrant in January to enter what they described as a makeshift nightclub and more than $17,000 in fines were issued against Movassaghi and guests in the home.

Judge Ellen Gordon described the event as "a crime not a party," attended by people "foolish enough" to put their and their grandmothers' health at risk.

She noted Movassaghi's one-day jail sentence has already been served, but he'll also have to complete 50 hours of community service work.

The police warrant alleged that the condo had a stripper pole and mood lighting, and a woman told police that people were asked to remove their shoes to prevent noise.

Another warrant issued in January alleged a McDonald's bag containing 100 cheeseburgers had been ordered for the suite and police could hear cheering, yelling, loud music and a lot of voices coming from inside the apartment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press