Dawson Creek man swept up in drug busts previously convicted of manslaughter

Ryan Randolph Holden was found guilty of manslaughter in April 2011 after facing a first-degree murder charge.

A Dawson Creek man arrested and charged as part of a recent year-long investigation by B.C.'s gang task force is well known to local police.

Ryan Holden was found guilty of manslaughter in April 2011 after facing a first-degree murder charge in the daytime killing of 60-year-old Kelly Roney, who was shot in the parking lot of the Old Rockwell's Pub in June 2007. 

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On Friday, the B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) announced Holden was one of 43 people swept up as part of a police investigation into the street- and mid-level drug trade in the Peace Region.

Holden, 36, faces multiple weapons charges, including owning body armour without a permit. He is also accused of possession for the purpose of trafficking. He is set to appear in court July 14 for a preliminary hearing and has not been convicted of these charges.

Holden was sentenced to 10 years in 2011 for killing Roney, but the sentence was reduced to two years after being given credit of eight years for the four years Holden spent in custody awaiting trial—most of which was spent in isolation.

According to reports, the day before his sentencing, Holden entered the courtroom in a "hyper mood," saying he was sure he would be walking free the next day due to time served. 

"I'll be strolling out of here this afternoon," he told the courtroom audience. "It's a perfect day for it. Short, sweet, everyone goes home."

According to a 2012 Vancouver Sun report on Holden's appeal of the case, Roney was revealed to be a rival of Holden's in the drug trade and Holden believed he was threatening him and his drug business. 

Holden, who was born and raised in Dawson Creek, graduated from high school and according to reports, had obtained a post-secondary diploma related to engineering before he became involved in the drug trade.

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