Tasers were for self-protection, says B.C. drug dealer

Tasers for protection?

A Vancouver man who claimed drugs Vancouver police found him with were for personal use has been convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Cameron John Kowbell, 44, was also convicted of possession of dangerous weapons after police found him with two Tasers and a large knife.

Altogether, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Nancy Adams found Kowbell guilty of two count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and two counts of unauthorized possession of a non-firearm.

Adams said police were called May 22, 2020 to reports of a Taser being used at a convenience store.

Officers located Kowbell, a woman and another man but did not believe they were involved in the incident due to initial descriptions.

But, on receiving further descriptions, the officers returned.

On Kowbell, Adams said, police found two Tasers; 1.32 grams of fentanyl; 1.5 grams of fentanyl, heroin and carfentanil; and 19.3 grams of methamphetamine.

What’s more, Kowbell had $946 cash, a hunting knife, a digital scale and small baggies.

Kowbell testified the drugs were for personal use.

He said he and his girlfriend were going away to Salmon Arm and were taking the drugs with them.

Kowbell said the scale was for making sure he didn’t get ripped off in drug buys. The baggies, he said, were to create a “bag lunch” for his own drug use.

“He did not explain why he was carrying a knife,” Adams said. “He agreed that the Tasers were illegal. He said he had been on the streets for 20 years and carried them for protection.”

Adams heard from a police drug expert who said the volume of drugs Kowbell had was not consistent with that of regular drug users. Meanwhile, the scales and baggies were “a kit for a drug trafficker,” the court heard.

Adams called Kowbell “unreliable” and “cavalier” in his evidence.

“His explanations were implausible,” she said of the Salmon Arm trip.

The case returns to court Feb. 22 to set a sentencing date.

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