Yellowknife

Darcy Oake pleads guilty to trafficking as trial starts


Dean Oake never heard of the dark web or bitcoin, and certainly never ordered furanyl-fentanyl, fentanyl, cocaine, or marijuana from his laptop.

Under oath, he also swore he never tracked packages online from Hong Kong or China.

But under questioning on Monday from Crown prosecutor Duane Praught, Darcy Oake’s father did admit searching for some of those terms out of concern for his son.

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“I know I researched a couple of the drugs I suspected he was using,” the senior Oake said during the first day of a scheduled 10-day trial in Supreme Court.

Darcy Oake was 22 years old in late November 2016 when RCMP charged him with drug trafficking and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, in connection with the reported discovery of imported furanyl fentanyl at his Borden Drive home.

On Monday, Oake pleaded guilty to trafficking furanyl fentanyl.

He remains on trial for three other charges, including criminal negligence causing bodily harm. It’s alleged a woman overdosed after buying drugs from Oake.

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In the fall of 2016, authorities were concerned about a rash of overdoses as a deadly form of fentanyl made its way to Yellowknife.

On the morning of November 25, 2016, Dean Oake was making coffee in his Borden Drive house and calling for his son to wake up. The younger Oake had an appointment downtown about entering a drug treatment program.

He had overdosed in the street while walking his dog a few days earlier and agreed to seek treatment the day before, during a family meeting.

When Oake wouldn’t wake up, his father went into his room to find the young man unresponsive and barely breathing.

His phone rang. It was his mother, who was on the way over to pick Oake up for the appointment.

“She would be there shortly and she told me to start CPR … she called the ambulance,” Dean Oake testified. “His breathing was pretty shallow, it just wasn’t normal.”

When emergency responders showed up, they started treating Oake and asked everyone to leave the bedroom, his father testified.

He locked his son’s pit bull, who was “freaking out,” in another bedroom.

RCMP then arrived at the chaotic scene.

“The police were in the room looking around. They asked me if they could search the room,” Oake senior testified under questioning, his son sitting a short distance from him beside defence lawyer Peter Harte.

“I told them, ‘Do whatever you need to do’ … they found something in the dresser, they picked up a bag with white powder in it,” Dean Oake testified.

Police also asked to search other areas of the house Darcy was known to “hang out” in, which included the garage.

The senior Oake left for the hospital, where he learned his son was being revived.

In the days preceding November 25, Oake said his son had received several packages, all picked up at the community mailbox a little way down the road.

“He was checking the mail, just as anybody else would,” Oake testified. “He had ordered some cigarettes and was getting things he needed like cell phone chargers, cords, etc.”

The senior Oake told the court Darcy frequently borrowed his laptop computer and also owned a cell phone. He had been working but had just recently been laid off. He paid rent and contributed to household bills when he could.

Oake’s trial, by judge alone, was to have started in January, but was delayed for several reasons, including a change of lawyers. The trial continues.

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