11. Regina v. N.T.C. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – May 2014]

On January 10, 2012 members of the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP attended the Calgary International Airport where they intercepted luggage that had just arrived on a flight from Vancouver. The suitcase was searched and found to contain multiple kilograms of cocaine valued (according to the police) at $1,200,000.00. The police sampled the seizure and then placed the luggage back on the conveyer belt for passenger retrieval. According to the police, NTC was later observed at the airport in “possession” of the luggage.

Mr. Fagan elected trial by way of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. The preliminary inquiry lasted several days during which multiple peace officers testified as to their actions and observations at the airport. The bulk of their testimony for the prosecution was designed to connect the evidentiary dots between the luggage containing the cocaine and NTC. Through Mr. Fagan’s cross-examination of the police the very tenuous nature of the alleged connection between the cocaine and NTC became increasingly apparent. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry the question of whether or not NTC should be committed to stand trial was vigorously debated. The Judge presiding at the preliminary inquiry ultimately (albeit reluctantly) ordered NTC to stand trial on a charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The trial was scheduled for 7 full days in Queen’s Bench but it never got that far. The Crown, ostensibly acknowledging the inherent weakness of its case (as exposed through cross examination at preliminary inquiry) directed a stay of proceedings which effectively terminated/killed this most serious prosecution in its entirety.

The complexity and magnitude of the investigation/seizure giving rise to the 2 cocaine prosecutions aforesaid (NTC and PKH) is illustrated in the attached media release.

Read the article.

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