This is another RCMP “Pipeline” case.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. B.A.G. was driving his vehicle back to Calgary from B.C. on Highway #1. B.A.G. was pulled over by an RCMP highway patrolman just east of the entrance way to Banff National Park. The reason given by the Mountie for the stop was . . . “speeding”.
Well one thing led to another at roadside and ultimately the Mountie decided to arrest B.A.G. for possession of a controlled substance. The Mountie’s decision to arrest B.A.G. flowed from rather cryptic information gleaned by way of a computer database search and information received by telephone from a drug investigator in central Alberta.
The Mountie saw nothing during the course of his attendance on the vehicle at roadside and smelled nothing to suggest that B.A.G. was transporting drugs. Be that as it may, the instincts of the Mountie were (colloquially speaking) right on the money and a search of B.A.G.’s vehicle incidental to arrest revealed the presence of approximately 25 pounds of cannabis marihuana. Not surprisingly, B.A.G. was promptly charged with possession with cannabis marihuana for the purpose of trafficking contrary to Section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act . In exchange for a timely guilty plea as charged, the Crown offered a period of imprisonment of 2 ½ years in a federal institution.
B.A.G. retained Patrick Fagan to defend this prosecution and Mr. Fagan (after rejecting the offer of resolution) elected trial by way of Queen’s Bench with a preliminary inquiry. At preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan cross-examined the RCMP highway patrolman at length in order to lay the evidentiary foundation at trial for an application to have evidence excluded pursuant to Section 24(2) of the Charter as a consequence of the violation of B.A.G.’s right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure as guaranteed by Section 8 of the Charter. In other words . . . an unconstitutional/unlawful search.
B.A.G. was committed to stand trial at the end of the preliminary inquiry and a trial was ultimately scheduled in the Court of Queen ’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary.
Bottom Line: Within minutes of commencement of Queen’s Bench trial proceedings, the Crown conceded the weakness of its case and killed the prosecution in its entirety by directing the Court to enter a stay of proceedings .
If you ’re interested in getting a feel for the dynamics associated with defending a so-called “Pipeline” case we suggest you take a look at the attached transcript of the RCMP highway patrolman (including Mr. Fagan’s cross-examination) at preliminary inquiry – click here.
In your perusal of the transcript keep in mind that a number of these officers (including this one) are 90% drug investigator and 10% traffic cop. They tend to be highly trained, well versed in the law in relation to search and seizure and hence formidable witnesses for the prosecution.