Woman gets 245 days in jail for dozens of charges

Charges ranged from breaches of bail conditions up to break-and-enters

Bree-Anne Buhler was charged with a lengthy list of crimes, spanning from Clearwater to Osoyoos to Alberta. File photo

A woman involved in a crime spree covering a wide area of B.C. will be spending the next 245 days in jail after a sentencing hearing Monday morning.

Bree-Anne Buhler’s file Monday morning took up nearly five pages of the court docket, including crimes ranging from break-and-enters and drug charges down to breaking curfew while on bail.

The most major crimes, which earned Buhler the most time in jail, was some break-and-enters in Avola, B.C., near Clearwater, where Buhler broke into two businesses and a residence between Jan. 17 and 18 last year.

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Buhler, 21 years old at the time of her arrest, was travelling with Waylon Faulhafer, 22 at the time, and William Gaddy, 25 at the time. The trio first broke into a Clusko Logging location, then into the Avola gas station and finally into a residence.

Police found that a gated compound had been broken into at Clusko Logging, with fuel cards stolen from logging trucks.

A locked door had been pried open by crowbar at the Avola gas station, according to provincial Crown lawyer John Swanson. A wallet, a laptop, food and drinks and some cash were all stolen from that spot, totalling $6,000 in stolen property.

In the residence break-in, firearms were found to be stolen, along with tools, at a value of around $8,000.

Among her oldest charges, dating back to November 2015, was a shoplifting incident at a Scotch Creek, B.C. SuperValu, in which Buhler was caught stealing a bottle of Smirnoff vodka on surveillance.

Older, still, though, Buhler pleaded guilty to a charge of using documents not belonging to her for unlawful purposes from an April 5, 2015 incident.

A man had reported that his one-ton Dodge truck had been stolen, and when police investigated, they found that another property was broken into, with jewelry stolen.

While investigating, police were alerted to a crash, where Buhler was located. In her possession, numerous identification documents for other people were found on her.

Buhler also pleaded guilty to some federal drug charges, for possession of GHB, a drug known for use medically, as well as recreationally and as a “date rape” drug.

Federal Crown lawyer Ginger Holmes told the court police observed a vehicle circling around in the South Okanagan General Hospital emergency department area in Oliver. When the vehicle spotted the police car, it pulled a U-turn, driving erratically.

Officers pulled the car over over and saw the woman in the passenger seat — later identified as Buhler — attempt to conceal something in her purse. After inspecting a bottle in her bag, police determined the contents to be GHB.

Police also found two meth pipes and 17 tablets of diazepam.

Buhler also pleaded guilty to several instances of breaking bail conditions, including curfew and being in a vehicle without the owner present.

Buhler was arrested in Alberta, along with Faulhafer and Gaddy in March 2016.

Swanson sought nine months in jail for the spree of break-ins near Clearwater, along with six months for the rest after time served. Holmes was seeking an additional 14 days in jail for the drug charges.

Buhler’s lawyer James Pennington told the court that Buhler was looking to put the incidents behind her, and has since broken off her relationship with Faulhafer and Gaddy.

He added that during the break-in spree, Buhler was only clearly implicated in the gas station, noting that she could have taken the issue to trial. He said Buhler’s guilty plea was evidence that she wanted to atone and put the issues behind her.

Pennington called for six to nine months in jail, after time served.

In sentencing, Judge Gale Sinclair noted that, though the list was long, none of the crimes was significant in nature.

Beyond the spree of crimes before the courts on Monday, Sinclair also noted that Buhler lacked a criminal record.

In total, Buhler was given 270 days for the break-ins, minus 180 for time already served in jail.

On top of that, Buhler’s various breaches and other crimes added up to a total of 245 days in jail after time served.

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