David Edwardsen’s residence on Old Lakelse Lake Road was one of five searched by police in 2012. File photo

Local man found guilty on 14 of 17 drug and firearm charges

David Edwardsen now awaits next court date for sentencing submissions

A Terrace man has been found guilty on 14 of 17 drug and firearm-related charges dating back to a large investigation in 2011.

David Harry Edwardsen was convicted by Justice Robert Punnett on four counts of trafficking a controlled substance, three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of controlled substance, one count of loaded or unloaded prohibited/restricted firearm with ammunition, one count of unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm and four counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Edwardsen’s arrest and the subsequent charges mark the end of a lengthy court process resulting from a 14-month investigation into a Terrace-area organized crime unit dating back to 2011.

On Sept. 19 of that year police executed search warrants on five properties in Terrace and the surrounding area – Edwardsen’s residence at 604 Old Lakelse Lake Road, two other residences on that same road, one residence on King Ave. in Thornhill and a residence on Bohler Rd.

An Emergency Response Team, similar to a SWAT team, assisted officers at Edwardsen’s home and siezed more than 500 marijuana plants from three different grow-ops; 1.5 kg of cocaine; 24 tablets of ecstasy; 17 grams of hashish, 32 grams of magic mushrooms and prescription drugs.

Investigators also recovered several handguns and 110 long guns, including both rifles and shotguns, from two of the search sites.

Edwardsen was arrested that same day. His defence went through two unsucessful bail hearings before finally securing his release on $100,000 bail in May 2013.

Edwardsen was scheduled for a preliminary inquiry in Terrace Provincial Court in April 2014, to determine if there was enough evidence for trial, but on agreement with the prosecutor he was granted a consent to committal, meaning Edwardsen was willing to go straight to trial. Throughout 2015 and 2016, five defence attorneys either resigned or were fired, filing between them six court applications that effectively extended the court process further.

Edwardsen was granted his applications to see police and investigators’ notes and to cross-examine the officer who swore the affadavit to obtain search warrants. The judge dismissed an application to cross-examine officers connected to the source handler notes, failing to see relevance and to protect the identity of an informant. Other applications were dismissed to challenge the validity of a warrant for a tracking device on Edwardsen’s vehicle; to have that warrant set aside due to “false or misleading” information from the informant; and one Charter of Rights application.

Terrace RCMP inspector Syd Lecky said he was satisfied with the judge’s decision.

“We are very pleased with the results of the trial and will look forward to sentencing,” said Lecky.

Sentencing submissions by prosecution and defence are scheduled for Dec. 12 to 14.