Unpaid debt at centre of shocking drug and weapons trial in Nanaimo

By Ian Holmes
April 29, 2019 - 5:09pm

Colin Lamontagne is charged with 15 drug, weapons and assault related offences.Submitted/RCMP

Gord Clifford Brooks outside BC Supreme Court in Nanaimo during a break in his trial with co-accused Colin Lamontagne.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — The opening of a high-profile BC Supreme Court trial provided a glimpse into Nanaimo's dark and often unforgiving drug culture.

Colin Lamontagne and Gord Clifford Brooks are on trial for a combined 27 charges related to an alleged local drug ring, primarily drug and weapon offences. Lamontagne faces 15 of the offences for a string of November 2016 incidents, including the alleged forcible confinement and beating of a drug addict for an unpaid debt.

They both pleaded not guilty to all charges Monday at their judge-alone trial, which is scheduled for the next three-weeks.

Despite the not guilty pleas, numerous admissions on the conduct of Lamontagne and Brooks were accepted as fact by both the Crown and defence.

Crown prosecutor Nick Barber said the victim was beaten by Lamontagne in a Ninth St. home leased by Brooks in front of witnesses.

“He's beaten by Mr. Lamontagne, he's stunned with a tazer...He has numerous injuries caused to him, including broken bones, significant lacerations and a punctured lung.”

The victim was left on a bench at Diver Lake Park, where he spent a cold night outdoors and was transported to hospital the next morning with hypothermia.

Barber said a bullet was found on the victim by hospital staff.

Searches of the Ninth St. property and a home on Cedar Rd. near Nanaimo Airport allegedly turned up a significant amount of drugs packaged for sale, including heroin containing fentanyl and carfentanil.

A loaded 50-caliber handgun, shotgun and two 20 litre buckets of the date-rape drug GHB were found in a hidden room of the Ninth St. home.

Lamontagne was arrested in the bathroom of the Ninth St. home during the search.

Barber said evidence submitted during the trial will show Lamontagne had “knowledge and control” of all the drugs and weapons discovered during the searches.

Brooks, as the lease holder of the Ninth St. property, also had knowledge and control of what was going on, Barber argued.

Multiple police, civilian and experts will be called to testifed as part of the Crown's case.

The victim is scheduled to testify next week.

Justice Jeanne Watchuk is overseeing the trial, which was previously slated to be decided by a jury.

Lamontagne remains in custody in relation to a manslaugther conviction in Victoria last year.

 

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