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R v N T & J (2009)

  • Clayton Rice, K.C.

An undercover police officer made a telephone call to a suspected drug dealer posing as a buyer. He set up a meeting and bought cocaine from the dealer in the parking lot of a Calgary gas station. The police then set up surveillance on the dealer and his associates and followed them throughout the city while they met briefly with people at strip malls and convenience stores. The police believed that the meetings were consistent with drug transactions. The surveillance eventually led to an apartment building. The police obtained a search warrant. When they smashed through the door of the apartment, J bolted for the sliding glass doors and jumped from the balcony in his stocking feet. N and T were arrested in the living room. The police found cocaine and cash on the coffee table. J was arrested a short distance from the building. The police said that footprints in the snow led them to him. J was not the tenant of the apartment. He retained Mr Rice. At the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry, Mr Rice argued that mere presence in the apartment could not in law put J in joint possession of the cocaine. The preliminary inquiry judge agreed and J was discharged.

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