Trial for admitted fentanyl dealer to resume in court in Yellowknife Thursday

Darcy Oake from his Facebook page

A trial for a Yellowknife man, facing three charges including criminal negligence causing bodily harm for allegedly selling fentanyl to a Yellowknife woman who then survived an overdose, is to resume Thursday morning.

Darcy Oake, 24, is also on trial for possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and importing fentanyl from China.

His guilt or innocence will be decided by Supreme Court Judge Shannon Smallwood.

It was back in November of 2016 when Oake was charged after a series of non-fatal fentanyl overdose cases seen by medical professionals at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife.

That led to a public warning issued by the NWT Department of Health and Social Services.

It also prompted RCMP officers, dressed in biohazard suits, to raid Oake’s Borden Drive home where they found a bag of white powder.

Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, has been blamed for hundreds if not thousands of overdose deaths in Canada over the past several years, particularly in the Vancouver area.

It appears to be relatively rare for the people selling fentanyl to be charged when the user dies or as in this case, survives an overdose.

It’s believed to be the first such charge ever laid in a drug case in the Northwest Territories.

RCMP say they laid the importation of narcotics charge after the Canada Border Services Agency seized a package from China at its mail processing plant in Vancouver.

It allegedly contained fentanyl destined for Yellowknife and linked to Oake.

He pleaded guilty to a single charge of trafficking when the trial began Monday.

It’s been adjourned since Tuesday while Oake’s lawyer dealt with another matter.

Oake remains in custody at the North Slave Correctional Complex (NSCC).

The last major convicted fentanyl trafficker in Yellowknife received a six-year prison term, a longer sentence than some offenders receive in the NWT for manslaughter.









About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.