29. Regina v. P.O. [Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. Johns – November, 2011]
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNS) were notified by Canada Post of a package at their depot containing cannabis marijuana. RNS installed a tracking device in the package and ultimately followed that package and our client to a residence. Pursuant to a search warrant the police entered the residence (and a second residence) and seized approximately 36 pounds of marijuana, drug trafficking paraphernalia and a large sum of cash (approximately $47,000.00). Client and his girlfriend were charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and proceeds of crime. The case for the Crown appeared relatively strong and all our client wanted was to stay out of jail (i.e.: a conditional sentence order/ house arrest) and his girlfriend “cut loose”. The Crown refused to consider such a proposal and wouldn’t accept less than a guilty plea to both charges in exchange for three years imprisonment. Left with no alternative but to “fight” we scheduled a date for preliminary inquiry. Approximately two minutes before the commencement of the preliminary inquiry it was discovered that the police had failed to process the “alleged” marijuana for analysis and hence there were no certificates of analysis germane to the impugned substance. Bottom Line: As a consequence of the fortuitous events aforesaid the Crown became much more amendable to an amicable resolution resulting in our client receiving a conditional sentence order (i.e.: house arrest) germane to the possession for the purpose of trafficking charge and the proceeds charge was completely withdrawn. All charges against the girlfriend were completely withdrawn and her vehicle returned.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.