The Calgary police had a warrant to search a cellphone seized from M during his arrest for a criminal organization offence. The warrant authorized the search for data including archived text messages, call records, photographs and the contact list. But the judge who granted the warrant failed to impose conditions on the search to protect M’s privacy including any communications with his lawyer. The police reviewed text messages on the cellphone between M and his lawyer, prepared a report on the contents and circulated the report to investigators. Mr. Rice brought a pretrial exclusion motion arguing that the warrant was invalid because it was overly broad and unreasonable. The prosecutor conceded that the search was unreasonable and in breach of solicitor/client privilege under ss. 7 and 8 of the Charter of Rights. The cellphone, its contents, evidence of ownership and possession, and the circumstances of its seizure by the police were excluded from evidence.
The police received information from a confidential informant that W was trafficking drugs from a downtown apartment. A hallway surveillance camera was installed to capture people coming and going from the suite. The police then obtained a warrant to make two covert entries and observed large quantities of cocaine and marihuana in the suite. The police intensified surveillance on N, W and F who were frequently observed on the hallway camera. N was followed to a house where the police searched the garbage on multiple occasions locating documents that led them to believe the house was being used to store cash. The police then obtained a wiretap authorization and a warrant to install a video camera and a room probe in the downtown apartment. N retained Mr. Rice when all three men were charged with conspiracy, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and a criminal organization count. A trial date has not been set.
The Calgary media reported that ninety-five shootings occurred in the city in 2015 – twice as many as in 2014 – and police investigators said that half the incidents were related to organized crime. Fifteen people were killed in those shootings. The police believe that the violence erupted in a conflict between two groups involved in the drug trade. Then, on May 3, 2016, Calgary police commenced a string of arrests that concluded over the following week when search warrants were executed at three city residences. Eight men were arrested. A has been jointly charged with various other defendants in a direct Indictment alleging multiple counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal organization offences. The lengthy investigation included the implementation of three wiretap authorizations during the fall of 2015 that identified eight targets. The police suspect there are more sides to the gang war that requires the use of ongoing labour intensive techniques. A date for pretrial motions has been scheduled in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary.
In this mega case of money laundering and criminal organization charges, the defendants are alleged to have been involved in a fraudulent telemarketing scheme that targeted citizens of the United States. The RCMP Commercial Crime Section in Calgary was alerted when two parcels containing undeclared cash were intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency. It is alleged that individuals contacted in the United States were told they had won a lottery but that they had to pay taxes or administration fees in order to collect their winnings. They were directed to forward funds to various individuals at UPS boxes and other locations in Calgary. The state contends that the money was then funnelled through bank accounts controlled by the defendants. The pretrial motions in this case are scheduled throughout 2015 and the trial date is set in 2016.
Mr. Rice has been retained by one of the defendants on this major cocaine production case. The police received information from an informant about suspicious activity in a residential condominium suite. The police surreptitiously installed a video surveillance camera in the hallway outside the suspected suite. The video surveillance footage was then used to obtain a number of warrants authorizing the police to conduct covert entries into the suite and a video surveillance warrant to install other video cameras inside the suite. On an evidence suppression motion, the trial judge ruled that a warrant was not required for the installation of the hallway camera because the tenant of the suite did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the common hallway under s. 8 of the Charter of Rights. In another case, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice came to a contrary conclusion. Concurrent trials on two Indictments in this case are scheduled in 2015.