David Edwardsen, a former Terrace man convicted of 14 drug and firearm charges, is being released from custody after serving about two years of an eight-year sentence.
Edwardsen, now 57, was arrested in 2012 following an RCMP undercover investigation, during which he sold cocaine and cannabis to undercover officers on several occasions. Police executed search warrants on Edwardsen’s house on Old Lakelse Lake Rd. and several other residences connected with Edwardsen. They found significant quantities of cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and cannabis. They also seized several handguns and 110 long guns from the properties.
Although Edwardsen was initially arrested in 2012, his trial didn’t begin in earnest until 2017, and he spent much of that time out of custody on bail. He was convicted of the 14 charges in 2017 and in 2018 he was sentenced to eight years in jail, minus 389 days for time already served.
Now, he has been granted full parole.
The Terrace Standard has obtained a document from the Parole Board of Canada outlining the reasons for granting Edwardsen full parole.
The document states that Edwardsen was initially released on day parole in January 2020 and placed in a halfway house in south-central B.C. as part of a gradual return to the community. The parole board found that Edwardsen did not breach any of the conditions of his release during six months of day parole.
“You have not been suspected of breach behaviours or an increase in risk, but you are noted as behaving in a rude and disrespectful way to staff,” the document states.
The parole board indicated that money was Edwardsen’s primary motivation for his criminal activity, and they found that Edwardsen has been committed to earning money through legal employment during his years on bail and his time on day parole.
“You have demonstrated over this time that you are committed to earning a living through legitimate means, you appear motivated to continue to do this,” the document states. “The Board is in receipt of your submissions regarding employment. You have offers of employment in diamond drilling, longshore work, and contracting.”
“The Board has placed significant weight on this.”
The parole board placed two conditions on Edwardsen’s release: he is prohibited from associating with anyone involved in criminal activity or substance abuse, and he is required to provide ongoing financial information to his parole supervisor. (He is also prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years, a condition placed upon him when he was sentenced in 2018.)
However, the parole board also found lingering issues with Edwardsen’s attitude.
“You were engaged in a high level drug trafficking business and you have a significant criminal history, with very minimal insight into why you chose to engage in these activities,” the document states. “The Board finds that you do behave with a sense of entitlement and that your attitudes are directly connected to your crime for gain behaviour. These attitudes appear to continue in your interactions with staff, and this is a concern.”
The document notes that Edwardsen had a significant criminal history prior to the drug and firearm convictions, including assault convictions in 1980, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1997.
“When asked about why you have such a significant criminal record, you said that you were young, living in the north, drinking a lot, and that’s ‘how it was in the ’80s,'” the document states. “You said that you will still drink ‘a beer’ with a meal, but that you don’t spend long hours in a bar like you used to and haven’t for many years. The Board finds that you have extremely limited insight into the factors that led to your criminal offending.”
The document is partially redacted and contains no mention of Edwardsen’s current location or where he plans to reside once he’s on full parole.
– with files from Quinn Bender and Margaret Speirs