17. Regina v. C.C.C. (Court of Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan, Battleford, June 2014)
As a consequence of information received from a confidential source the RCMP conducted an investigation relative to a potential residential marijuana grow operation in rural Saskatchewan. The RCMP ultimately obtained a warrant to search the home and upon entry observed CCC, another male and three pit bulls in the living room. After securing the pit bulls and arresting the male occupants the police searched the home and found approximately 200 plants in an upstairs bedroom and a sophisticated marijuana grow operation in the basement. The police estimated the potential yield of the grow operation at $416,640.00. CCC was charged with production/cultivation of marihuana and possession of marihuana for the purpose of trafficking.
In addition to the complications (from a Defence perspective) which flow from being a “found in” at a marijuana grow operation CCC made things worse by providing a number of statements to the police. Specifically, CCC told the police he now lived at the residence and (when questioned further) that he had wired the operation and it was definitely to “code”. The only real chance that CCC had in creating a reasonable doubt vis a vis his presence at the residence turned on whether the damaging statements aforesaid could be excluded.
Bottom Line: Patrick Fagan successfully applied to have the statements excluded from evidence pursuant to section 24(2) of the Charter as a consequence of the violation of CCC’s right to counsel as guaranteed by section 10 of the Charter. In the absence of this damning evidence the Court was left in a reasonable doubt as to CCC’s guilt and verdicts of not guilty were entered on all charges.
The full text of the judicial ruling in relation to the statements can be viewed at Regina v. CCC 2014 SKQB 145.
The full text of the judicial decision giving rise to the verdicts of not guilty can be viewed at Regina v. CCC 2014 SKQB 174.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.