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Crown seeks six years for man guilty of firearms charges

Myles Hunter Alec found with sawed-off rifle and 47 rounds of ammunition downtown Prince George

A man found with a sawed-off rifle and nearly 50 rounds of ammunition in an "open air drug market" in downtown Prince George should be sentenced to six years in prison, Crown prosecution argued Wednesday.

Myles Hunter Alec, 31, was arrested March 22, 2020, in the alley behind the needle exchange at Third and George where he was found in possession of a backpack containing the gun, along with a magazine holding seven rounds of .22-calibre bullets plus a box holding a further 40 rounds.

Alec was also at large at the time after cutting off an electronic monitoring bracelet following his release from custody some weeks before. He had been facing similar charges from an earlier alleged incident for which he was eventually found not guilty.

In arguing for the term, Crown stressed Alec's lengthy criminal record. It adds up to 107 convictions, 29 of them for violent offences including one count each of assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement, as well as nine prior convictions for weapon-related offences.

That Alec was arrested in a public area, and not only a known hub of criminal activity but also described as an "open air drug market," should also be considered, Crown argued. 

Additionally, Alec gave a false name when he was arrested and then claimed he swallowed a "half-ball" of heroin so he could be taken to hospital for observation rather than to police cells.

And during the trial on the matter, Alec tried to frame a well-known drug dealer in a "completely unbelievable narrative of falsified evidence in almost every aspect of the case."

Had he been found guilty of the charges he had been facing from the earlier alleged incident and if  not for compelling factors related to a troubled childhood, the ongoing effects of colonization on Indigenous people and their disproportionate numbers in the penal system, Crown would have been seeking nine years, the court was told.

Defence counsel, in turn, argued for time served of about three years, once credit of 1 1/2 days for every day spent in custody prior to sentencing is taken into count.

In doing so, counsel emphasized Alec's health troubles. Alec took in the hearing via videoconferencing from Vancouver where he is to undergo surgery related to a heart ailment for which he had been fitted for a pacemaker. He has also been diagnosed with a form of bone cancer, the court was told.

Alec's health troubles were such that 32 days of the time he has been in custody were spent in hospital. Partly as a consequence, he has also spent a total of 133 days in the induction unit at Prince George Regional Correctional Centre where inmates remain in cells for 23 hours a day. When back in the general population, programs and supports have been limited due to the pandemic, the court was also told.

Realizing his mortality and wanting to be there for his two children, Alec wants to turn the corner and make a better life for himself, the court was told. 

Crown countered that Alec made similar pleas prior to sentencing in 2014 for his role in a confinement and robbery, yet continued to commit crimes upon his release.

At the time, it was enough to convince the sentencing judge to give him a partial break and sentenced him to five days less than the two years Crown had been seeking, so he could serve the term in a provincial facility.

Inmates in federal prisons must past through metal detectors, the court had been told, and Alec worried doing so could affect the pacemaker.

Following a trial, Alec was found guilty in September of nine counts, including possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing a firearm contrary to an order.

If Alec is sentenced to the full six years, the remaining time he will have to serve will be reduced to account for credit for time served prior to sentencing. 

A decision on sentencing will be issued at a later date.