R. v. J.J.
Charge: Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
The police were told by a confidential police informant that the client, J.J., was selling drugs from his storage locker in his apartment building. Based on that information, the police obtained a warrant to search both the client’s storage locker and the client’s apartment where the police found a large quantity of cocaine.
The defence applied to have the cocaine found in the client’s apartment excluded from the evidence on the basis that the document sworn in support of the Search Warrant did not support the issuance of the warrant insofar as the client’s apartment was concerned.
I applied for and was granted leave to cross-examine the police officer who had sworn the document used to obtain the Search Warrant. The evidence established that the informant had never been in the client’s apartment, that the client kept narcotics and weight scales in his storage locker, that the client met purchasers near his storage locker and that the client sold drugs from his storage locker. The trial Judge agreed with me that the evidence indicated that the client was committing a criminal offence in the locker unit, not his apartment.
The trial Judge concluded that the justice who had issued the Search Warrant could not reasonably have issued the warrant to search the client’s apartment as opposed to his storage locker. The trial Judge therefore excluded the cocaine from the client’s trial since the search of his apartment infringed his right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure as guaranteed by Section 8 of the Charter of Rights. To admit the evidence of the cocaine found in the client’s apartment would have brought the administration of justice into disrepute.
The client was found not guilty of the charge which he was facing.
This is yet another example of my experience and advocacy skills working together to the benefit of the client.