Yellowknife man receives 6-year sentence for selling fentanyl, crack cocaine

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A Yellowknife man has been sentenced to six years in prison for repeatedly selling fentanyl and crack cocaine, even after being placed under house arrest for trafficking drugs.

Justice Louise Charbonneau handed down her sentence to Dayle Hein in February. Hein was arrested in 2014 and again in 2016, in connection with the drug operation Project Green Manalishi.

Hein pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, admitting in court that he was an addict himself and apologizing "for his contributions to the addictions that plague our society."

Both the Crown and defence lawyers recommended Hein serve a six-year sentence.

Charbonneau said in her decision, released on Thursday, that she considered Hein's guilty plea, but that it did not mitigate the seriousness of his crimes.

"Anyone who chooses to traffic in [fentanyl] to make money is making a choice to take a very real risk of killing people to make money," she said.

"It is that simple. And if those people get caught, they can expect to face very stern sentences from the court."

Caught in 2014, again in 2016

Hein, who has a history of drug trafficking with convictions dating back to 1999, was arrested by RCMP in August 2014 after selling crack cocaine, oxycontin, and fentanyl to undercover police officers five times in a six-day period. He was released from custody with conditions, including remaining under house arrest and not possessing a cell phone.

In April 2016, Hein was arrested again for selling drugs, both leaving his home and using a cell phone to do so.

"In short, he breached his release terms repeatedly and blatantly," Charbonneau said.

Hein was one of 28 people charged in connection with a drug investigation termed Project Green Manalishi by the RCMP, which resulted in one of the largest drug seizures in the territory in a decade.

Charbonneau considered a number of factors in sentencing Hein, she said, including the fact that he had lost his father at a young age, was raised in an environment where drugs and alcohol were frequently present, and was sexually abused by his babysitter as a child.

She also noted that Hein's children had become addicted to drugs themselves, and expressed her hope that he could break his cycle of addiction in order to serve as a positive example for them.

"It is a cycle that repeats itself and it does so exponentially," she said. "Every dealer has a number of customers, and every single customer is at risk of becoming another Mr. Hein."

Charbonneau also recommended strongly that Hein be permitted to serve his sentence in the Northwest Territories, "so he can be closer to the people who can help him through what is going to be, I am sure, a long road ahead."

Hein will serve another four years and 11 months after being credited with 13 months of time served while awaiting trial. Upon his release, he will have his DNA added to the RCMP's national data bank, and will be prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years.