R. v. A.M. Multiple Counts of Possession of Fentanyl and Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Proceeds Obtained by Crime.
Client was arrested (along with his girlfriend) after tactical officers executed a search warrant at his home. The warrant was issued to authorize a search for, and seizure of, a handgun, but no gun was located. Nevertheless, an officer claimed to have observed the client attempting to hide something on the roof; a subsequent search of the roof led to the discovery of bags full of fentanyl, crack, and powder cocaine. Officers from two different police services then tore the house apart, seizing cellphones and cash from the client’s bedroom in the process. Upon being retained, Joel immediately requested disclosure of materials related to the application for, and execution of, the warrant, but these were not forthcoming for several months, despite repeated assurances that they were on their way. After Joel brought an application for disclosure in the Superior Court, submitting that it was impossible to get informed instructions from the client in the circumstances, the Crown stayed all of the charges against the client and his girlfriend, and agreed to return all property seized (apart from the drugs).
R. v. S.A. Possession of Large Quantities of Cocaine, Fentanyl, Crystal Methamphetamine, Psilocybin, and MDMA, for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Proceeds Obtained by Crime, Possession of Two Restricted Firearms with Ammunition, Possession of Firearms Knowing their Possession is Unauthorized, Unauthorized Possession of Firearms, Careless Storage of Firearms, Possession of Firearms with Altered Serial Numbers, Careless Storage of Ammunition, Possession of a Prohibited Device (Silencer).
Client was arrested in bed, after police obtained two search warrants: one for his condo, and one for a second apartment alleged to have been his “stash house”. They seized enough drugs and weapons to put the client in the penitentiary for somewhere between ten and twenty years. The client’s lawyer contacted Joel for assistance with challenging the search and seizure. Joel applied for exclusion of all of the evidence, after close review of disclosure revealed that officers had entered the client’s apartment well before the first warrant was valid, and that none them had actually read the warrant itself. Joel also discovered evidence that corroborated the client’s claim that officers had stolen forty thousand dollars from his apartment (this money was never accounted for, back at the division). The defence applications were hotly contested, but after Joel pointed out that the validity of the second warrant hinged on observations made in violation of the client’s Charter rights, the Crown stayed all of the charges.
R. v. S.T. Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking, Dangerous Driving, Escape Lawful Custody, Assault Police.
Client was charged after police boxed in a car at a parking lot, and alleged that he had driven into their cruiser, while trying to escape. The driver fled, and police illegally searched the car, finding cocaine and ID belonging to the client. The client was arrested months later. The charges were withdrawn after a judicial pretrial, in which Joel pointed out that the damage to the cars involved could only have been caused by the cruiser hitting the other car, not vice-versa, and the Crown was unable to produce any disclosure corroborating the officers’ account of the events.
R. v. M.B. Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking.
Client was arrested at the end of a two-year investigation, which involved multiple wiretap authorizations, and dozens of surveillance photographs, which showed him in contact with high-level drug importers and traffickers. A significant amount of cocaine was discovered in his car at the time of his arrest. He had previously been represented by another lawyer who had unsuccessfully tried to get evidence excluded on the basis that the authorizations were invalid. Joel successfully applied to re-open the wiretap challenge, and established that, even though it was valid against everyone else targeted by the project investigation, it was not valid against this particular client because police had not told the issuing Judge about him at the time of the application. The Superior Court orally allowed the application, all evidence against the client was excluded, and he was acquitted.
R. v. K.K. Possession of Marijuana, Fail to Comply Recognizance, Obstruct Justice.
Client and his friends were stopped by police coming out of a hotel, late at night. The officers searched all three of them, and searched their car as well. They discovered a small amount of marijuana. Client gave a false name to the officers, who eventually established his true identity, and that he was on bail conditions, which included a 10 pm curfew. Joel brought an application to exclude all of the evidence on the basis that the officers should not have stopped the men in the first place. After Joel’s cross examination of the police officers, the Crown invited the judge to dismiss the charges. Client acquitted on all counts.
R. v. P.E. Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Heroin for the Purpose of Trafficking, and Possession of Marijuana for the Purpose of Trafficking.
Client was arrested in his apartment, after police smashed the door in, pursuant to a search warrant. Police seized drugs, scales, and drug packaging material. The Crown was seeking three and a half years in jail, on an early plea. Joel filed a Dawson application to cross examine the officer who drafted the warrant at the preliminary inquiry. Instead of fighting the application, the Crown stayed all of the charges.