3. Regina v. H.S.K. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – January 2017]
The police received a Crime Stoppers Tip that if they called a cellular number they could purchase heroin. The police followed up on this tip and ultimately arranged for an undercover officer to meet with a heroin trafficker. The meet took place during which the undercover officer purchased a quantity of heroin. Shortly thereafter the police stopped a vehicle driven by HSK, placed him under arrest for trafficking in heroin, searched his person and the vehicle. As a consequence of that search the police found heroin on HSK’s person and additional heroin in the vehicle.
HSK was charged with trafficking in heroin contrary to section 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and possessing proceeds (approximately $2,000.00 cash) of crime contrary to section 354 of the Criminal Code. The Crown was seeking a period of imprisonment of at least 3 years. Patrick Fagan elected trial by way of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry.
At preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan was successful in killing the charge of possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking and the proceeds of crime charge. HSK was committed to stand trial on a singular count of trafficking in heroin.
Patrick Fagan provided notice of his intention to seek relief pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the nature of a stay of proceedings as a consequence of random virtue testing (ie: ENTRAPMENT). There were also issues relative to the identification of the trafficker due to a break in surveillance continuity from the time of the transaction to the time of arrest.
BOTTOM LINE: The Crown acknowledged the inherent weaknesses of its case and the entire matter was resolved by way of a guilty plea to simple possession of heroin contrary to section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The matter was dealt with by way of a $2,000.00 fine and a period of probation.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.