20. Regina v. W.W.S. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Red Deer and Calgary – November 2017]
In September 2013 the RCMP Federal Policing South Team entered into an investigation of the alleged drug dealing and money laundering activities of W.S.S.. Following several months of surveillance by a multitude of officers, the police obtained a Warrant to Search the residence of W.S.S.; that search resulted in the seizure of a relatively large quantity of cannabis marihuana and a large amount of cash. At the same time, the police seized large sums of money and other financial assets from various institutions and secured restraining orders in relation to other proprietary holdings. W.S.S. was ultimately arrested and charged with a number of offences including the following:
- 2 counts of possession of cannabis marihuana for the purpose of trafficking contrary to Section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
- Possessing Proceeds of Crime (and money laundering) contrary to the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code.
W.S.S. retained the services of Patrick Fagan to defend this most serious prosecution. Patrick Fagan entered an election of trial by way of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. W.S.S. was committed to stand trial at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry but only on the proceeds and money laundering charges. Patrick Fagan was successful in having all drug charges against W.S.S. (and W.S.S.’s girlfriend . . . also Patrick Fagan’s client) completely withdrawn at preliminary inquiry.
A 7 day trial was scheduled in Queen’s Bench during which the Crown anticipated calling approximately 33 witnesses including 2 expert witnesses. The expert witnesses were being called to give opinion evidence that the money (several hundred thousand dollars) possessed by W.S.S. was Proceeds of Crime and that his income was from “unknown”, and hence criminal sources. The Crown also anticipated calling at least 2 civilians who were to testify that W.S.S. was not employed at the places he claimed (on his tax records). As it turned out, however, those witnesses would never get to testify.
Bottom Line: As the Queen’s Bench trial date rapidly approached, the Crown sought a multitude of “admissions” from Patrick Fagan to assist in facilitating the smooth entry of hundreds of documentary exhibits into evidence. Mr. Fagan’s response in this regard was relatively straightforward: “there will be NO admissions, prove your case.” Approximately 1 week prior to commencement of trial proceedings the case was killed in its entirety by way of the entry of a Stay of Proceedings is a legal term used to refer to a direction by a Crown prosecutor or a Judge to the Clerk of the Court to terminate a criminal prosecution. Click for more information..
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.