The RCMP Crime Reduction Unit received information from a confidential informant that a marijuana grow operation was located at residential premises owned by DHG. The police conducted an investigation utilizing Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) technology and the installation of a Digital Recording Ammeter (DRA) which yielded information consistent with the presence of a grow operation.
The police obtained a warrant to search the home and prior to entry observed DHG departing the residence so they placed him under arrest. A search of the home revealed the presence of a large sophisticated grow operation in the basement and approximately 65 pounds of harvested marijuana in zip lock baggies in an upstairs bedroom. A search of DHG incidental to his arrest yielded keys to the residence as well as a key to the door leading to the basement. DHG was charged with unlawful production of marijuana, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.
Patrick Fagan elected trial by way of Queen’s Bench and scheduled a preliminary inquiry. During the course of the preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan cross-examined the primary investigating officers at length. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry Patrick Fagan achieved the following objectives: 1) the presiding judge discharged DHG relative to the charge of unlawful production of marijuana contrary to section 7(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, 2) the presiding just discharged DHG relative to the charge of possession of proceeds of crime contrary to section 354 of the Criminal Code of Canada, 3) Although DHG was committed to stand trial on the remaining charge of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act the foundation (through cross-examination) had been laid for various substantive and constitutional defences at trial.
The Crown was initially disturbed by the fact that DHG had been discharged at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry on the production and proceeds charges and took steps to have that decision overturned by way of a writ of certiorari and mandamus. In the end result, however, once the Crown had an opportunity to carefully review the transcript of proceedings taken at the preliminary inquiry they abandoned all efforts to overturn the orders of discharge at preliminary inquiry. Furthermore, to the credit of the Crown, notwithstanding the fact that DHG was ordered to stand trial on a charge of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking the Crown acknowledged the weakness of its case as a consequence of what transpired at the preliminary inquiry.
Bottom Line: The remaining charge of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking was resolved prior to commencement of trial proceedings by way of the entry of a stay of proceedings.