8. Regina v. C.A.A.M. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary – March 2014]

CAAM was the target of a sophisticated well conducted investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (“ALERT”) involving members of the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP. CAAM was observed during the course of surveillance to be engaged in activity which (according to the police) was consistent with moving large quantities of cocaine. Investigators waited for the right moment, moved in and found CAAM in possession of 5 kilograms of cocaine (with an estimated street value of $250,000.00) in the trunk of a motor vehicle. Unfortunately for CAAM he was at the time of his arrest on parole relative to a 6 1/2 year sentence for trafficking in a similar quantity of cocaine. He was therefore compelled to serve the balance of his sentence on the original conviction and at the conclusion of that sentence the odds of securing bail on this new charge germane to the 5 bricks were remote in the extreme.

Our review of the Crown disclosure failed to reveal the existence of any viable avenues of defense that would justify the cost and risk of taking this matter to trial. This reality militated in favour of a negotiated guilty plea.

Bottom Line: CAAM pled guilty to a singular count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and received a sentence of 4 1/2 years imprisonment. This extremely favourable sentence (which could have easily been in the realm of 8-12 years imprisonment given CAAM’s prior record) was made possible by the exceedingly swift execution of this matter.

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