R. v. B.K. [Provincial Court, Calgary, July 2017]

The police were undergoing a murder investigation when they discovered a group of young men that they believed to be trafficking cocaine in the City of Calgary at the kilogram level. The organization was believed to be operating at a sophisticated level and the police conducted surveillance and extensive wiretaps to build a case against B.K. and three other young men. Ultimately the police executed more than a dozen warrants at multiple residences and of multiple vehicles discovering a significant amount of cocaine, marijuana, hundreds of thousands of dollars and various weapons including guns. The week before his arrest the police allegedly purchased cocaine from B.K. on three separate occasions. On “take down” day, B.K. was arrested with approximately 60 grams cocaine packaged in dozens of small baggies and a significant amount of cash in his vehicle. B.K. was initially charged with the three other young men with over 71 offences which included:

Section 467.11 of the Criminal Code — Participate in or contribute to the activities of a criminal organization

Section 465(1)(C)  — Conspiracy to commit the offence of trafficking in cocaine

Section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act – Possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking

B.K. faced some of the most serious charges in the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, many of which were punishable by life in prison. B.K.’s only goal from the outset of the prosecution against him was to avoid being sent to jail. With this in mind, Ms. Fagan elected to proceed by way of Queen’s Bench Judge and Judge, with a preliminary inquiry. A four week preliminary inquiry was scheduled and over 40 witnesses were called by the Crown Prosecutor during this time. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry Ms. Fagan was successful in killing all but seven of the charges against her client. A seven week trial in Queen’s Bench was scheduled for the trial of the seven charges against her client and other charges relating to the three co-accuseds. Ms. Fagan filed a Charter notice attacking the search warrants and arguing that his right to a trial within a reasonable time had been violated.

BOTTOM LINE: Weeks before the commencement of the seven week trial the Crown agreed with Ms. Fagan that there were significant Charter issues and made B.K. an offer that he could not refuse. B.K. pleaded guilty to only three of the charges and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day to be served in the community (i.e. no jail time).

Patrick Fagan

Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.

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