R. v. RAG, [ABPC, Calgary – February 2021]

RAG was charged with trafficking in cocaine (3 hand-to-hand transactions with the same undercover cop), possessing proceeds of crime and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Needless to say, defending charges of direct trafficking involving hand-to-hand transactions to an undercover officer are extremely challenging and difficult to defend. Why? In simplest terms, all the Crown needs to do is call the undercover officer to the stand, have him/her identify the accused, describe the transaction, confirm the nature of the drug in question and that’s that.

What a lawyer needs to do in defending a direct trafficking case is, (colloquially speaking) … find an angle. Sometimes that “angle” can take the form of entrapment, problematic drug analysis or a good old fashion “identification” defence. Every case is unique and invariably, every case has something the defence can work with if an experienced lawyer looks hard enough.

As for RAG, Patrick Fagan was able to identify weaknesses in the notes recorded by the undercover officer; this gave rise to a very viable “identification” defence.

BOTTOM LINE: Patrick Fagan was successful in killing ALL charges against RAG at preliminary inquiry by way of the entry of a Stay of Proceedings .