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Estate of now-deceased dial-a-dope suspect gets possession of seized car

Civil forfeiture director gets final say on sale of 2019 Subaru WRX once owned by Andrew James Schooley
The BC Supreme Court has granted the estate of a deceased trafficking suspect the right to sell his forfeited car.

The administrator of the estate of a now-deceased man suspected of trafficking in Prince George will be able to sell a car RCMP had seized from him, subject to approval by the B.C. civil forfeiture director.

Under the terms of a consent order approved on March 27 in B.C. Supreme Court, the estate of Andrew James Schooley may assume possession of a 2019 Subaru WRX in exchange for an amount equal to the vehicle's current market value as security.

Before a sale can be completed, the administrator must give the director the name, birth date and contact information of the prospective buyer no less than a week prior to the proposed sale date.

If the director refuses to consent, the sale cannot be completed.

The order remains in effect for three years and will be in default if the car is used in the commission of an offence under the Criminal Code, the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the federal Cannabis Act or the provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

The estate administrator is also obligated to advise the director within seven days of the event, if they believe a default has occurred.

And if police have reasonable grounds to believe a default has occurred, they can seize the car and turn it over to the director. If the estate has not filed a notice opposing the forfeiture within 21 days, the director can sell the car with the proceeds going to the provincial government.

According to probate records, Schooley died on July 28,2023. Prior to that time, Schooley had fought to regain possession of the car that had been targeted by the director as an alleged proceed of crime and the matter had not yet been settled.

Police had seized the vehicle on Dec. 22, 2022. In a notice of claim filed in June 2023, the director alleged it was being used to run a dial-a-dope drug trafficking operation in Prince George.

The director went on to itemize significant quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine RCMP allegedly recovered from the car and a home police also subsequently searched.

A loaded handgun, stun gun, more than $5,000 in cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia were also uncovered. Both the gun and the stun gun are considered prohibited weapons, according to the claim.

In the response filed the same month as the notice of claim, Schooley denied being in possession of any of the items and stated he was one of several occupants of the home." He also labelled the arrest and the search unlawful.