House arrest for drugs and guns

Jason Purchase of Abbotsford is sentenced for charges laid in 2007, after his residence was searched on Sumas Mountain Road.

An Abbotsford man has been sentenced to six months’ house arrest and a 10-year weapons ban after he was convicted of five drug and weapons offences.

Jason Warrick Purchase, 38, was sentenced Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack. He was convicted last July of possession for the purpose of trafficking, careless use of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and two counts of improper storage of a firearm.

Purchase and six other occupants of a home on Sumas Mountain Road were arrested May 9, 2007 after police responded to a 911 call.

The caller said her brother had contacted her and indicated he was being threatened by someone with a gun at the property.

When police arrived at the scene, Purchase came out of the house first, and the other six exited after police issued a “call out.”

According to court documents, a search of the residence then turned up boxes of ammunition, a handgun, 11 improperly stored rifles, and marijuana plants that were being grown and harvested.

A police officer testified during Purchase’s judge-only trial that the home had been in the midst of a marijuana harvest – called a “clipping party” – in which individuals are hired to separate the bud from the rest of the plant.

The guns and ammunition were found in plain view in various places around the house.

After his conviction, Purchase applied to have the charges stayed, saying he had not been tried in a reasonable amount of time.

A second application requested that the proceedings be declared a mistrial because of “a denial of procedural fairness.”

The judge ruled against both applications.