A Williams Lake prolific offender will, in fact, serve some jail time for allegedly breaking into evacuated homes during the 2017 wildfires.
The BC Prosecution Service confirms that Nicholas Ivany pled guilty in Williams Lake Provincial Court on February 5 to one count of possession of stolen property, property which was from houses looted during the wildfires.
Ivany received a 15-day jail sentence (10 days credited for 15 served) and probation for 12 months. The sentence also took into account that Ivany had been subjected to a house arrest condition since August 10, 2017.
He also pled guilty and was sentenced for possession of cocaine and two breaches.
Other charges against Ivany were stayed.
The BC Prosecution Service confirmed that charges against Alana Ward who was arrested according to Williams Lake RCMP with Ivany on July 11, 2017, in connection with break and enters in the Wildwood area were also stayed.
The Prosecutor concluded that the charge assessment standard was no longer met and that in these circumstances a stay of proceedings is the appropriate course of action.
“Under the Charge Assessment Guidelines, charges will only be approved where Crown Counsel is satisfied that the evidence gathered by the investigative agency provides a substantial likelihood of conviction and, if so, that a prosecution is required in the public interest,” explained Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel.
“A substantial likelihood of conviction exists where Crown Counsel is satisfied there is a strong, solid case of substance to present to the Court.”
“This test applies at all stages of the prosecution. If, at any point, the prosecutor concludes that the evidentiary standard is no longer met or that a prosecution is no longer required in the public interest a prosecution cannot proceed. In this case the prosecutor concluded the test was no longer met and directed the stay of proceedings.”
The Williams Lake RCMP said on August 4, 2017, a total of 7 break and enters were allegedly committed in the City of Williams Lake throughout the month of July, 4 of which were reported to police pre-evacuation.
“Our investigators had linked those remaining three break and enters after two suspects were taken into police custody on July 11th and search warrants were subsequently executed by the Williams Lake RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) at various locations on July 12th,” stated Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
Ivany and Ward were arrested on July 11, 2017, as a result of a routine vehicle stop at 9 Avenue North and Latin Street.
During a subsequent search of their vehicle, officers located a television which is believed to have been taken during a break and enter from an evacuated home in the Wildwood area on July 8, 2017.
Based on that vehicle stop, a search warrant was executed on July 12, 2017, at a residence on 10 Avenue North as well as a second residence on 11 Avenue North. Investigators discovered several items believed to have been taken from three other locally evacuated residences.
“The RCMP continue to remain committed to ensuring the community is safe and their property is protected throughout the city of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District, whether they are on an evacuation alert or evacuation order,” said Insp. Jeff Pelley.
Both Ivany and Ward were arrested by Williams Lake RCMP for breaching conditions on August 9, 2017, and were charged with possession of tools suitable for the purpose of break and enter, possession of a controlled substance, and 3 counts of breach of recognizance.
(Editor’s Note: The date of the day in the last sentence of this article was incorrect and has since been updated.)