7. Regina v. T.S.H. [Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Calgary – March, 2013]

TSH was the target of an ongoing police investigation involving multiple confidential informants, extensive surveillance and the execution of a number of warrants to search residential premises. As a consequence TSH was charged with 19 separate offences including 2 counts of possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking, possession of ecstasy for the purpose of trafficking, possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, multiple weapons offences and possessing proceeds of crime. Upon receipt of full disclosure from the Crown we entered an election of trial by way of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. At the preliminary inquiry we were successful in killing all but 1 of the 19 charges – TSH was committed to stand trial at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry on the singular charge of possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

As the Crown was seeking a lengthy term of imprisonment we were left with no reasonable alternative but to schedule a trial in Queen’s Bench. On the verge of commencement of Queen’s Bench trial proceedings the Crown acknowledged inherent weakness in its case vis a vis their so-called drug expert and their inability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the nature of the impugned substance (heroin) due to problematic service; this resulted in a most favorable result for TSH. Bottom line: the entire matter was resolved by way of a plea of guilty by TSH to simple possession of a controlled substance and a fine. As a consequence of the foregoing all charges (including possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking against the wife of TSH) were completely withdrawn.

Patrick Fagan

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