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R v S & B (2013)

  • Clayton Rice, Q.C.

The RCMP received informant information that B had been transporting drugs into Fort McMurray on the Red Arrow bus from Edmonton. They set up surveillance at the Fort McMurray bus depot. On the day of arrest B was met at the bus depot by S and they left together in S’s car. The police stopped the vehicle on the highway into Fort McMurray and seized $30,000 worth of heroin and oxycodone from B’s shoulder bag. During the preliminary inquiry, the investigating constable conceded to Mr Rice in cross-examination that the police had no information that B was carrying drugs on the day of arrest and they therefore did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle on the highway. The Crown Attorney was faced with the prospect that a trial judge might throw the drugs out of court. On the other hand, B was faced with the possibility that a trial judge might admit the drugs into evidence irrespective of the unlawful arrest. The Crown Attorney offered a deal whereby B pleaded guilty to simple possession of the drugs and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment. All other charges were withdrawn. As Kenny Rogers might say – you’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.

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