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Man accused in Penticton drug trafficking case flees B.C. ahead of trial

Nicholas James Desrochers was set to go on trial for seven charges of possession for trafficking
Penticton’s Law Courts. (Western News)

A man who previously drove into oncoming traffic while fleeing police has now fled B.C. to avoid a trial in Penticton.

Nicholas James Desrochers, born in 1992, was scheduled to have his trial on March 28, for seven charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and one charge of driving while disqualified.

Instead, at the pre-trial conference on March 20, it was revealed that he had left the province.

On the day that was supposed to be his trial, the federal Crown prosecutor instead asked for an unendorsed warrant for Desrochers.

“Mr. Desrochers has not wandered back into British Columbia, your honour,” said Crown. “If it comes to pass that Mr. Desrochers returns to British Columbia, we can deal with things then.”

An unendorsed warrant means that if Desrochers is arrested, he will be held in custody until his next court appearance.

Desrochers was not an unfamiliar face in B.C. court system, having multiple convictions in Victoria and most recently Penticton.

READ MORE: Penticton man drives into oncoming traffic while fleeing police

On May 3, 2022, he fled police instead of pulling over, driving into oncoming traffic and almost hitting other drivers, police said at the time.

He pleaded guilty later that year and received a sentence of one day in jail after time served in custody.

Desrochers’ defense in his trafficking case asked and received the court’s permission to be removed as counsel for Desrochers after he skipped the trial.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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