10. Regina v. G.P. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – June 2013]

According to the police they received information from a reliable confidential informant that GP was selling cocaine. As a consequence of this information the police initiated an investigation involving surveillance and a surreptitious garbage pull from the residence of our client. According to the police a search of the garbage bag revealed a multitude of baggies with corners removed – those corners tested positive for cocaine. Consequently . . . the police obtained a warrant to search GP’s home and vehicle. As a consequence of that search the police seized a quantity of cocaine, cannabis resin, cannabis marijuana, oxycodone (pharmaceutical morphine), ecstasy and cash. GP was charged with 7 separate offences including trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possessing proceeds of crime and multiple counts of simple possession of various controlled substances.

We elected trial by way of Queen’s Bench and at preliminary inquiry we managed to kill all charges against GP’s girlfriend. GP, on the other hand was committed to stand trial on all charges and the Crown was seeking a lengthy jail term in a federal institution regardless of a guilty plea or conviction at the end of trial. The police conducted a relatively solid investigation but there were a number of problems with the warrant to search and there were live issues vis a vis the issue of “possession” – this was particularly the case relative to the cocaine seized from the residence. Bottom line: the Crown ultimately acknowledged the inherent weaknesses in its case and the matter was dealt with by way of a guilty plea of simple possession of cocaine and a fine in the amount of $3,000.00. All other charges (including possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking in cocaine) were withdrawn. We also obtained an order directing the return of seized funds to GP.

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