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Victoria man faces drug, weapons charges after discharging bear spray by mistake

A police cruiser in Victoria, B.C.
A police cruiser in Victoria, B.C. BC Emergency Photography / Flickr

A Victoria man brought some unwanted attention to himself after accidentally discharging bear spray near police officers — leading to several charges and the end of a possible drug trafficking business.

Victoria police say they were investigating a theft in the 2900-block of Douglas Street just after 3 a.m. Wednesday when the suspect discharged the bear spray nearby.

Officers approached the man and began to search him, only to find two more cans of bear spray, two knives and an electric stun gun along with other weapons. The man also had break-in tools, including a cutting torch.

READ MORE: Officer sprayed in eyes with bear mace while making arrest: Vancouver police

Police also found packages of drugs intended for trafficking — including fentanyl, methamphetamine and GHB — along with several mobile phones and roughly $2,000 in cash.

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Officers seized all the items found on the man, who was taken into custody.

Police recommended 11 charges, but court records show prosecutors ultimately landed on nine.

READ MORE: Driver arrested after causing 4-vehicle crash near downtown Victoria

Steven Gregory Vaters is facing five charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of a dangerous weapon, one count of possession of break-in tools, and two charges of possession a firearm in violation of a probation order.

The charges were sworn against Vaters later on Wednesday.

Vaters’ next court appearance is set for Sept. 24.

WATCH: (Aug. 24) Driver causes 4-vehicle crash in Victoria

Click to play video 'Driver causes 4-vehicle crash in Victoria' Driver causes 4-vehicle crash in Victoria
Driver causes 4-vehicle crash in Victoria