Less than a month after his associate was jailed for an identity theft scheme involving stolen mail and forged documents, the second man involved received his own prison term.
This isn’t the first time James Donald Provost — who has a record of more than 200 convictions — has been sentenced for this type of offence; back in October 2015, he was handed a 30-month term, less remand credit, for offences along the same vein.
It took less than a year for Provost to return to his old ways. Upon his release, he was to start a period of probation but failed to report in September 2016. He then went off the radar, resurfacing in a familiar way in October.
According to details heard at Regina Court of Queen’s Bench upon Provost’s entering guilty pleas to 14 offences, Provost and his accomplice Brad Waselenchuk became embroiled in a scheme that involved mail theft and the use of fake identification to purchase goods or withdraw cash.
Both were looking to feed drug problems, court heard at Provost’s sentencing on Thursday and at Waselenchuk’s sentencing earlier this month.
Court heard Provost’s history came back to bite him when police and bank staff recognized his image on various pieces of surveillance video, some recorded at an apartment building where various residents’ mail was stolen, some at a bank where he fraudulently withdrew money and some from an electronics store where several thousand dollars worth of goods were fraudulently purchased.
Provost and Waselenchuk were also tied to a variety of other crimes involving stolen identities and fraudulent transactions during the same month.
Past dealings with the men also meant police knew just how to find them. The men were known to stay in hotels while engaged in their crimes, and police found they had used one of the known stolen identities to check into one.
Police arrested the pair there on Oct. 19, and seized a large variety of stolen mail, fake identification cards and documents, equipment used to make false ID and a safe. That safe was found to contain several USB sticks containing templates to make the documents and a list of names and identity information, some of which was linked to fake ID found on Provost.
Provost pleaded guilty to break, enter and commit theft, possession and use of forged documents and identity documents not his own, personation, possession of mail belonging to others, and fraud, among other offences.
Justice Lana Krogan agreed to impose the 3½-year sentence jointly proposed by Crown and defence counsel. After remand credit, Provost was left with two years, one day to serve.
The additional day will allow Provost to serve his time at a federal prison where court heard he wants to take advantage of a high-intensity substance abuse program.
“I want to right the ship if you will,” he said.
Krogan said she was hopeful he follows through. But, she added, “That is entirely up to you and entirely your choice.”
Waselenchuk had pleaded guilty to a few more charges than Provost and received a slightly higher sentence at 39 months less remand credit.