19. Regina v. A.A.A. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – October 2017]
A.A.A. was a highly educated person about to embark upon a promising professional career. According to the police, A.A.A. was also a drug trafficker. Specifically, according to the police, A.A.A. met with an undercover Peace Office and sold that officer 2 bags of cocaine. A.A.A. was later identified by the police and, when arrested, the police found an additional quantity of cocaine on his person. As a consequence of the foregoing, A.A.A. was charged with a number of offences including:
- Trafficking in cocaine contrary to Section 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
- Possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking contrary to Section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
A.A.A. retained Patrick Fagan to defend this most serious prosecution. Patrick Fagan elected trial by way of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. At preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan cross-examined the undercover officer in an effort to expose circumstances giving rise to ENTRAPMENT. Specifically, Patrick Fagan sought to establish that the police gave A.A.A. an opportunity to commit a crime without first taking the requisite steps to establish grounds that he was already involved in criminal activity. This version of entrapment is often referred to as “virtue testing” and if successfully established, can result in the termination of an entire prosecution by way of a stay of proceedings.
At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry A.A.A. was committed to stand trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta on all charges. Between the date of committal and arraignment in Queen’s Bench (ie: before a trial was scheduled in Queen’s Bench) Patrick Fagan was able to convince the Crown as to the strength of his position vis a vis entrapment as a consequence of evidence given by the undercover officer during the course of cross-examination at preliminary inquiry.
Bottom Line: ALL charges against A.A.A. were completely withdrawn. If you are interested in acquiring a grasp of the dynamics associated with cross-examination of an undercover officer germane to entrapment, we invite you to peruse the attached transcript of Patrick Fagan’s cross-examination in this case – click here.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.