Kamloops cocaine dealer avoids jail term after years on the run

Sep 2, 2020

A former Kamloops cocaine dealer, Daniel Colligan, who spent years on the run from the police before being arrested in Edmonton two years ago will not serve jail time, as per the decision of the B.C. Supreme Court Justice Len Marchand.

In 2011, Colligan, 34, was charged with three counts of cocaine trafficking after RCMP made three illicit drug purchases from him. In addition, he did not show up for his trial in October 2013, and subsequently, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Finally, he was found and arrested in December 2018 in Edmonton; however, at that time, he had departed the criminal lifestyle.

Moreover, the court received reports and letters of Colligan’s changed lifestyle. In contrast, aggravating factors of the case include his criminal record, including prior drug trafficking convictions, and evading justice for nearly six years. According to Marchand, Colligan’s prompt guilty plea upon being caught and having changed his lifestyle were the mitigating factors in him receiving leniency.

Consequently, Colligan received a two-year conditional sentence order that will involve him being placed under house arrest for the first year of his sentence and under a curfew for the second year. However, he will be able to leave his house for work and medical reasons. In addition, he will be required to complete 80 hours of community service.

In his sentencing decision, Justice Len Marchand said that Colligan had turned his life around between 2011 and today: “That is commendable but the fact that he did so while on the lam presents a challenge at the sentencing stage. How can the court impose a sentence that discourages offenders from fleeing justice generally while at the same time promoting public safety by supporting the rehabilitation of a particular offender specifically?”

Following his arrest in Edmonton, Colligan pleaded guilty to the charges and was released on bail prior to his sentencing on July 31. The court heard that Colligan had a difficult childhood, which involved physical and emotional abuse. Later, Colligan had developing substance abuse issue in his early teenage years and then later in his adolescence, he began selling drugs.

However, while on the lam in Edmonton, Colligan started attending NA and AA meetings. He gained employment in the oil industry and is currently working as a site supervisor with a production testing company and now has two children with his partner.

In his sentencing, Justice Marchand concluded that putting Colligan in jail would cause him to become unemployed and an absent father.

“Mr. Colligan has come to understand how harmful his offending conduct was. He is remorseful and recognizes that he must be punished. No matter what the sentence is, Mr. Colligan says that he is committed to maintaining his new lifestyle,” said Marchand.