18. Regina v. S.A.T. [Provincial Court of Alberta (Calgary) – December, 2018]
During the course of a robbery investigation conducted by the Calgary Police Service (CPS) in March 2016, the police obtained information that led them to believe that a certain telephone number was associated with a fentanyl dial -a-dope operation. Consequently, this information was communicated to the CPS Drug Undercover Street Team ( “DUST”) and they embarked upon a drug investigation. Specifically, an undercover officer was given the task of calling the suspicious phone number for the purpose of engaging in an undercover purchase of fentanyl .
Well. . . the undercover operator did contact the suspicious phone number, spoke with a male at the other end and arranged to meet with that male for the purpose of purchasing fentanyl. On March 10, 2016 the undercover officer did in fact me et with a male and purchased a quantity of fentanyl (5 tablets) for the sum of $80. According to the undercover officer, the male removed the 5 tablets from a bag containing at least 60 to 70 fentanyl pills.
As a consequence of the foregoing, the male (F.A.H.) was arrested several months later and charged with trafficking in fentanyl contrary to Section 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. In view of the fact that trafficking in fentanyl now attracts a sentencing “starting point” of in excess of 5 years imprisonment, F.A.H. retained Patrick Fagan to defend this most serious drug prosecution.
The matter was scheduled for trial in Provincial Court and those proceedings ensued on October 2, 2018. The learned trial Judge ultimately found beyond a reasonable doubt that it was in fact F.A.H. who sold fentanyl to the undercover officer and found F.A.H. guilty of trafficking in a controlled substance. That, however, did not end the matter. . .
Notwithstanding a finding of “guilt” on a charge of trafficking in fentanyl, Patrick Fagan asked the Court not to enter a “conviction” but rather to enter a stay of proceedings (ie: kill the charge notwithstanding the finding of guilt) as a consequence of ENTRAPMENT.
Bottom Line: Patrick Fagan was ultimately successful in killing the fentanyl trafficking charge on the basis of entrapment. For those of you who may be interested in the legal analysis underlying this ruling of entrapment, a transcript of the Court’s Reasons for Judgment filed December 20, 2018 can be accessed and reviewed by clicking here.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.