Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson (Contributed/Facebook)

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson (Contributed/Facebook)

Kelowna dealer who operated international dark web drug ring denied appeal

The BC Court of Appeal denied James Nelson an appeal on his 11-year prison sentence

A Kelowna man convicted of operating an international drug ring on the dark web has been denied an appeal of his prison sentence by B.C.’s highest court.

James Nelson was sentenced to 11 years in prison in July 2020, for trafficking fentanyl and carfentanil on the dark web — a section of the internet not accessible to most users without the use of special software. The dark web is home to virtual black markets that sell drugs and other illicit materials.

Nelson initially faced eight separate drug-related charges alongside his common-law partner, Cassie Bonthoux, but charges against her charges were dropped following Nelson’s guilty plea.

In a unanimously quashed appeal to that sentence, Nelson argued to a three-judge BC Court of Appeal panel that given his lack of a prior criminal record, a seven-year prison sentence would have been more appropriate.

The court ruled the sentencing judge gave ample weight to Nelson’s status as a first-time offender, opting for a sentence five years fewer than the 16 years proposed by the Crown.

Nelson — under the username Fattuesday_13 — knowingly sold potentially deadly drugs between July 2016 and August 2017, on AlphaBay, a dark web marketplace. He advertised his operation as “one of the premium Fentanyl vendors in Western Canada.”

Police investigation through two separate purchases of his product tied Nelson to the Fattuesday_13 username. Nelson later admitted his use of the username.

Search warrants executed at Nelson’s home and Bonthoux’s Kelowna business after their arrest in August 2017, found a plethora of evidence, including envelopes of drugs ready to be sent to a variety of international locations.

Police seized 102.91 grams of carfentanil, 97 Canada Post shipping receipts and more than 19 Bitcoin, then valued at more than $83,000 — now worth almost $240,000 — from Nelson’s home. At Bonthoux’s business, police also found and seized transaction records and other materials related to Nelson’s drug trafficking.

“The appellant presented himself to his community as a law-abiding, responsible and respectable citizen and father, whose common-law wife, the co-accused, operated a small business in downtown Kelowna,” Justice Patrice Abrioux wrote in the court’s decision.

Abrioux stated Nelson’s presented “veneer of respectability” obscured a man who trafficked substances he knew could be lethal while possessing knowledge of the deadly opioid epidemic in B.C., caused in part by the very same drugs he was selling.

READ MORE: Kelowna Hells Angels prospect sentenced to 9 months in jail for aggravated assault

READ MORE: Former Vernon teacher found guilty of historic sex crimes against minors

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme CourtDrug bust

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read