A convicted West Kelowna fentanyl dealer will remain in a halfway house for at least six months after being denied full parole.
Leslie John McCulloch, 45, has shown “improved behavior and attitude” since being allowed to move into a halfway house last year, the Parole Board of Canada said in a document released earlier this week. But he’s not quite ready for full release.
“In trafficking drugs, (McCulloch was) essentially trading human suffering for monetary gains. As someone who has struggled with addiction, (he knew) this firsthand. (He has) a history of non-compliance, including re-offending and breaching while on release from (his) first federal sentence,” the parole board said.
Read more: RCMP bust fentanyl lab in West Kelowna
However, he completed available programming with gains noted and is in community maintenance programming. This and a number of other improvements while on day parole have left the board feeling that there is hope for further integration into the community.
“Although (McCulloch has) a history of boundary-pushing and other manipulative or deceptive behaviours, (he does) appear to have made changes for the better and seem to be on the right track once again,” the parole board said.
“In summary, after weighing all of the information in (his) file, the board has determined that (his) risk on day parole continued release is not undue, and (his) reintegration on this form of release will contribute to the protection of society.”
In addition to staying in a halfway house, he will have to adhere to a number of conditions, including abstaining from drugs and staying away from people who are associated with crime.
McCulloch first gained day parole in September 2021, a couple of years into an eight-year prison sentence for, among other things, trafficking and production of a substance, and possession in 2015.
That time, things didn’t go as well.
Shortly after moving into the halfway house, he was flagged for behaviour that looked reminiscent of his crime days and taken back into custody.
His room at the halfway house where he was staying was searched and found were identification in the name of “Alexander Lester Kreed,” a credit card and some pre-paid Visa cards that were in contravention of the financial disclosure special condition, and an iPhone that did not have a SIM card but was a second phone and therefore a violation of the telecommunications special condition.
The parole board took away his privileges and offered a stern rebuke.
“To use a metaphor, the board sees you as ‘slippery’. You tell the truth if it is convenient or if you are caught in a lie, otherwise, you seem to have no concern about being dishonest,” he said.
In 2015 McCulloch was identified by the police as being involved in importing substances that are used to make illicit drugs. He was also seen associating with known drug traffickers and a high-ranking member of a well-known and sophisticated gang, which the CSC refers to as a “security threat group.”
The police determined that he was producing counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and he was arrested alongside his fiancée in March 2016.
Read more: Warrant issued for West Kelowna drug dealer
A search of his business and residence resulted in the recovery of 938 oxycodone pills believed to contain fentanyl, over $35,000 in cash, score sheets, scales, money counters, 500 millilitres of GHB, a small amount of cocaine, money transfer receipts totalling $15,500 transferred to China, 406 grams of acetylfentanyl divided into eight small bags, two pill presses, a pill counter, plastic bags with oxycodone pills, pill-binding agents and other powders of various weights.