A Kelowna drug addict and trafficker who twice sold fentanyl to an undercover cop is getting a break on jail time to enrol in a treatment program.
On Sept. 16, 2017, Amber Andrea Sintihakis, 43, sold Cpl. John MacIntyre, for $20 each, what was supposed to be heroin on two separate occasions in downtown Kelowna.
The .23-gram and .35-gram packages both contained fentanyl.
Fentanyl is at the centre of the opioid crisis because the potent synthetic is a cheap way for dealers to make street drugs more powerful.
However, even a small amount of fentanyl can cause overdose and death.
Sintihakis has 18 prior convictions connected to drug possession, trafficking and theft.
B.C. Supreme Court Judge Leonard Marchand took both of these factors into consideration while coming up with a sentence for the conviction on two counts of possessing fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking.
While Sintihakis admitted to selling the undercover cop drugs, she maintained she thought it was heroin.
She also characterized the transaction as an addict sharing her personal supply with another addict in need.
She did warn the undercover cop to be careful because the drugs were high potency.
Sintihakis is serving a six-month sentence at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge for a May 2018 conviction for possession for the purpose of trafficking in methamphetamine.
She’s eligible for release on Nov. 8.
Rather than add to her time in jail, the judge decided a suspended sentence and three years of probation would be best.
That way, Sintihakis gets out of prison as scheduled on Nov. 8 so she can take part in the intensive live-in substance-abuse treatment program called Bridgeway in Kelowna that starts on Nov. 12.
The judge also took into consideration that since 2018, Sintihakis has worked with a probation officer to connect with BrainTrust Canada to deal with the brain injury she suffered in a 2016 car accident.
She is on prescription Kadian, an extended-release morphine, to help with pain and eliminate cravings for illegal substances.
She has attended the Opioid Agonist Treatment Clinic in Kelowna weekly.
She received treatment for her hepatitis C and started to see her five children who were taken into care by the Ministry of Children and Family Development in 2016.
Sintihakis secured stable housing in April, but lost it when she started to serve her latest jail sentence in June.
She has subsequently been approved for supportive housing in Kelowna upon her Nov. 8 release and when she finishes the Bridgeway live-in rehabilitation.