A discovery of a handgun and ammunition during a traffic stop has led to time in a federal prison for a Prince George man.
Jason Dean Theroux, 51, was sentenced Monday to two years and seven months for knowingly possessing a restricted firearm along with a pair of brass knuckles.
Police found the items in August 2018 when the pickup truck Theroux was driving was pulled over because the rooftop light bar was exposed. Popular among off-road enthusiasts, they must be covered whenever a vehicle is being driven on a public road.
When RCMP noticed hardened gloves and a child-sized ball bat in the console, Theroux was asked to step out of the vehicle. Brass knuckles were found in the driver's side door compartment and that led to a further search.
The .40-calibre handgun, unloaded but also unsecured, along with ammunition was subsequently uncovered in a satchel in the passenger-side compartment. The satchel also held a tablet determined to be Theroux's.
Defence counsel Dave Jenkins Sr. had argued for a conditional sentence order - effectively house arrest - and emphasized both Theroux's relatively-scant criminal record and the steps he has taken to turn his life around since the arrest.
After suffering an injury to his shoulder in 2008, Theroux developed an addiction to pain killers and then heroin. He has since successfully turned to methadone to ease the cravings and has moved away from Prince George to cut ties with the city's criminal element.
But Malfair largely agreed with Crown prosecution's position that as much as three years was appropriate.
The gun turned out to have been stolen and, in a statement to police, Theroux implied he was holding onto it for others. As such, Malfair found it was being held for a "true crime" purpose and so Theroux's action warranted a sentence at the upper end of the spectrum.
"Criminals can thrive when they enlist others to assist them, such as by having individuals outside the attention of police hold onto weapons, drugs or contraband on their behalf to avoid seizure or protection," Malfair commented.
That the gun was unloaded and not immediately accessible was taken into account in determining the sentence.
In all, Theroux was sentenced to 2 1/2 years for the hand gun and a further one month for the brass knuckles less nine days credit for time in custody following his arrest. He was also issued a 10-year firearms prohibition.
Sentences greater than two years less a day are served in federal prisons.