A Vancouver man who was caught speeding near Jasper and found in possession of roughly 30 pounds of marijuana escaped with a one-year conditional sentence after pleading guilty to what he described as a one-time “mistake” that will never happen again.
“I just needed money,” a remorseful Ryder Thomson told judge Vaughn Myers after driving to Jasper from Vancouver on the morning of Nov. 24 to appear in person for his sentencing that afternoon.
“It was a mistake,” Thomson added. “I won’t do anything like that ever again.”
Court heard that on May 31, an RCMP officer spotted Ryder speeding in a van about two kilometres west of Jasper. The officer pulled the van over for travelling 103 km/h in a 70 km/h zone at about 5:45 p.m.
Once he began speaking to the driver, the officer became suspicious that there were drugs in the vehicle. At 5:57 p.m. Thomson was detained and, after an RCMP dog was brought in to help search for drugs, police found about 30 pounds of marijuana concealed in the van.
Defence attorney Laurie Rodger said Thomson had been in need of money and simply made a “bad decision” when he agreed to transport the large amount of drugs. The step-father to a 12-year-old is in a much better financial situation now, Rodger added, having started his own moving business in the Vancouver area.
“He appears to be on the road to financial stability,” Rodger said.
Ryder has also been in a steady relationship with the child’s mother for eight years, court heard. The defence argued he is unlikely to re-offend.
Ryder has already forfeited the drugs, about $1,000 in cash and the van.
Judge Myers agreed to a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence that Ryder be spared jail-time, handing him instead a one-year conditional sentence in which he must serve the first six months under house arrest, with exemptions for work and medical appointments.
Paperwork was prepared to transfer the jurisdiction for supervision of his sentence from Alberta to British Columbia and Ryder was allowed to leave immediately to drive back to Vancouver that evening.