A judge in Regina provincial court handed a man a 2.8-year, or 1,025-day, sentence following a guilty plea to an offence involving a sawed-off shotgun that occurred in Estevan last March.

Adam Samuel Bachorcik pleaded guilty on October 31, 2023, according to Judge Murray Hinds' decision posted to CanLII, to the Criminal Code charge of:

Possess a prohibited firearm together with readily accessible ammunition capable of being discharged from the said firearm and was not the holder of a licence under which he may possess the said firearm in that place contrary to section 95(b) of the Criminal Code.

The agreed statement of facts read that the Estevan Police Service received a tip regarding a person in possession of drugs at a hotel.

The caller said Bachorcik and Cynthia Bell were staying in a hotel room, and that cleaning staff saw Bell holding meth in the hotel room.

Police showed up at the hotel, and while they were speaking to the hotel manager, the manager saw them exit the room with three children and pointed them out to police.

Police arrested Bachorcik and Bell for possession of methamphetamine and searched them.

They located found the following items on  Bachorcik:

Three shotgun shells, 3.4 grams of methamphetamine, 0.1 gram of fentanyl, a bottle of premix rooting powder, a Samsung cellphone, keys to a Nissan Altima.

Bell was found to have meth, fentanyl, and items consistent with drug trafficking. Court documents show she is facing charges stemming from the arrest, including possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking. Those have not been proven in court.

A search of the hotel hotel room revealed more meth.

A sawed-off shotgun was found in the Nissan, disassembled into three parts, and wrapped into bubble wrap and duct tape.

The court records state that Bachorcik, Bell, and her children were living in Swift Current and were going to move to Regina. They stopped in Estevan because they would be dropping off some stuff (including the shotgun) and picking up some other stuff before going to Regina.

Hinds' decision stated that he felt Bachorcik was somewhere on the spectrum between being a responsible gun owner and an outlaw "with readily accessible ammunition in public areas as a tool of his trade" who was a "real and immediate danger to the public."

Bachorcik had a criminal record with 16 previous convictions.

The Crown was seeking a sentence of four to four-and-a-half years of incarceration. The defence was looking for a 16-month conditional sentence.

Hinds factored in the following factors in his sentencing:

[33]      I am of the view the following constitute aggravating circumstances:          

i)         Mr. Bachorcik has a previous criminal record.  One of these convictions took place in 2013 for careless possession of a firearm.

ii)         When Mr. Bachorcik was arrested, he was in possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl for his personal use. The possession of the illicit drugs which can alter a person’s perception/behaviour and the possession of an illegal firearm with readily accessible ammunition are concerning from a public safety point of view.

iii)       Mr. Bachorcik admitted to storing the sawed-off shotgun in the trunk of his vehicle while travelling with Ms. Bell and her three children under the age of 10.

[34]      I am of the view the following constitute mitigating circumstances:       

i)         He entered a guilty plea to the offence before the Court.

ii)         The sawed-off shotgun was broken down in three pieces wrapped in bubble wrap, located in the trunk of his vehicle. While there is no doubt the firearm could be fairly quickly removed from it’s wrapping, assembled and loaded by Mr. Bachorcik – this is not a case where a sawed-off shotgun or other prohibited firearm is fully functional and at the ready.  Mr. Bachorcik made some efforts, albeit inadequate, to safely store the firearm.

iii)        It appears Mr. Bachorcik sincerely wants to overcome his addiction to illicit substances.

Bachorcik has been in custody since March 20. He will get credit for time served.