July 17th, 2024

Man gets prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on October 31, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Barely a month after being caught with a vehicle full of weapons and ammunition, a 32-year-old Lethbridge man has been sent to a federal penitentiary.

Jamey Kenneth Jensen, 32, was sentenced Monday in Lethbridge court of justice to three-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon contrary to a prohibition order, possession of an overcapacity ammo magazine without a licence or registration, drug possession and refusing a drug test demand.

Jensen, who was denied bail on Oct. 19, had been in custody since Sept. 24 after a sheriff saw him driving 100 km-h in a 50 km-h zone along Metis Trail near Jerry Potts Boulevard West. The Sheriff stopped the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV just before midnight on Sept. 23 and immediately noticed Jensen was impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The sheriff called the Lethbridge Police Service for assistance after Jensen refused to get out of his vehicle. When police arrived, Jensen was still inside the vehicle, but officers ultimately “gained compliance.”

“The offender was belligerent, stating he was going to sue the sheriffs and Lethbridge Police Service,” Crown Prosecutor Matt Dalidowicz told court.

Officers determined that Jensen had been previously prohibited for life from possessing firearms, ammunition and prohibited devices, but upon searching his vehicle they found a rifle case containing three boxes of .223-caliber bullets. Police also found and seized additional boxes of .223-caliber rounds and boxes of 5.56 cartridges, as well as body armour, a loaded .223-caliber rifle, two over-capacity ammo magazines containing about 40 .223-caliber bullets, infrared goggles, a balaclava, handcuffs and keys, a baton, a rifle case with 49 rounds, a set of keys and a large diamond ring.

Dalidowicz noted that even though Jensen was subject to several firearm prohibitions, including a lifetime ban, it didn’t stop him from possessing the rifle, ammunition and prohibited devices with which he was caught in September.

“When those items are found together like this, it’s highly indicative of a sinister intent,” Dalidowicz said. “With this weapon and this amount of ammunition, the risk that person poses to peace officers and the public is formidable.”

Jensen also pleaded guilty to one count of refusing to provide a breath sample and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, to be served at the same time as his three-and-a-half-year sentence, and he was sentenced to 30 days concurrent for drug possession from an unrelated incident on Sept. 14.

Just after midnight police received several complaints about a man yelling in the street and banging on a residential door on the southside. Police found Jensen in a nearby alley and he was taken to the homeless shelter because, in his drug-induced state, he was unable to tell the officers where he lived. While travelling to the shelter, he told police he saw a woman in front of them who had been following him earlier, but “the officers observed no such person.”

Shortly after Jensen was left at the shelter, police received a call from a nearby hotel where Jensen had run through the front door claiming he was being chased. He ran to the second floor and began banging on doors to get in. When police arrived the fire alarm was ringing and employees said Jensen had left through the back door and had pulled the alarm on his way out.

Police found Jensen nearby and he was arrested for mischief. During a search they found him in possession of a large bag of methamphetamine.

Calgary lawyer John Oman explained his client has a long history of drug abuse but was doing well after moving to Lethbridge recently and working in the oilfield industry. And despite a lengthy break from committing offences and drug use following a sentence for break and enter in B.C. in 2019, he fell off the wagon.

“He purchased some drugs in August on the street and he was back into serious, full-time methamphetamine addiction,” Oman said.

Oman pointed out Jensen didn’t have any intentions of using the weapons and other items found in his vehicle, but bought them because of his interest in firearms and because “he had too much money.”

“I’m just sorry for what I did,” Jensen told court. “I wasn’t out to hurt anybody that night. I’ve been battling addiction right, so I relapsed and kind of screwed everything up.”

In addition to his prison sentence, for which he was given credit for the equivalent of 56 days he spent in remand custody, Jensen must submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Data Bank. He is prohibited from driving for one year and he was given another lifetime weapons ban.

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