R v. HAF [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary – September 2022]

SUMMARY: HAF was the target of an undercover operation during which he was alleged to have engaged in 2 hand-to-hand cocaine sales to an undercover officer of the Calgary Police Service ( “CPS”). HAF was charged with trafficking in cocaine. Patrick Fagan was successful in having ALL charges completely WITHDRAWN.

Trafficking charges which involve hand-to-hand undercover transactions are extremely difficult to defend. Why? The case for the prosecution tends to be relatively straightforward and turns almost entirely on the sworn testimony of the undercover officer. An undercover officer will take the stand, testify as to the circumstances surrounding the undercover transaction, point to the person in the courtroom from whom he/she purchased the drug, produce the drug (after establishing the nature of the substance) and, unless the Defence has an “angle” to work with, it’s all over. 

What happened in this case is Patrick Fagan uncovered information germane to the true origin of the undercover operation and detected therein the seeds of a potential entrapment defence.

Bottom Line: Prior to commencement of trial proceedings Patrick Fagan convinced the assigned Crown Prosecutor of the strength of his position vis a vis ENTRAPMENT, and ALL charges were completely WITHDRAWN.