19. Regina v. L.L.M. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – December 2016]
A Special Enforcement Unit of the Calgary Police Service received information that LLM was trafficking in a controlled substance at the wholesale level. By way of surveillance police established LLM’s primary residence and that, according to the police, he was coming and going from his home while engaged in activity consistent with drug trafficking. Police obtained a warrant to search LLM’s home and upon entry found LLM at the top of the stairway. As a consequence of the search the police seized a large quantity of cannabis marijuana, approximately $100,000.00 in cash, a loaded .357 magnum handgun, electronic money counter, etc., etc. etc. As a consequence of those seizures LLM was charged with 17 separate offences:
- Unlawful possession of cocaine.
- Unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
- Unlawful possession of ketamine.
- Possession of a handgun with a defaced serial number.
- Possession of a handgun while you were subject to a firearms prohibition order.
- Possession of a handgun without a license.
- Possession of an unregistered handgun.
- Careless storage of a firearm.
- Storage of firearm in contravention of regulations.
- Possess ammunition contrary to a prohibition order.
- Possession of brass knuckles.
- Possession of a machete.
- Possession of swords for a purpose dangerous to the public
- Possession of axes for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.
- Possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
- Possession of proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000.00.
- Unlawful possession of a loaded handgun.
Patrick Fagan entered an election of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. At the preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan was successful in killing the first 14 charges enumerated above. A Queen’s Bench trial was thereafter scheduled for the 3 remaining charges of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000.00 and unlawful possession of a loaded handgun.
An extremely hard fought and adversarial trial ensued during which the overall constitutional integrity of the investigation was challenged on various grounds. The initial Queen’s Bench trial was scheduled for 1 week but it ended up extending (on and off) over the course of the next year.
BOTTOM LINE: LLM’s primary concern was to avoid, if at all possible, the imposition of a jail term. Given the fact that LLM had a previous conviction for trafficking (and the case involved possession of a loaded handgun) avoiding jail (short of verdicts of not guilty) were out of the question. During the course of trial proceedings, however, Patrick Fagan managed to squeeze sufficient leverage out of various applications so as to orchestrate a guilty plea to a singular count – possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The Crown vehemently opposed Patrick Fagan’s application for a conditional sentence order (ie: no jail) but at the end of the day LLM was granted a conditional sentence order.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.