Charges against a Yellowknife man who appeared to be illegally operating a private liquor store from his apartment have been stayed.
A year ago, Fraser Trennert was charged under the Liquor Act with illegally offering liquor for sale and illegally selling liquor from his Fraser Arms apartment.
Trennert, 59, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was to go to trial on Sept. 30, but earlier this month the prosecutor suddenly dropped the charges.
The prosecutor would not give any specific reasons for staying the charges, saying only that he felt there was no longer any reasonable chance of a conviction.
At the time they announced Trennert's arrest, police said it was one of the largest liquor seizures ever in the Northwest Territories.
In a report to the courts, RCMP said the haul included 600 containers of cider and coolers, 288 cans of beer, 133 bottles of spirits and 106 bottles of wine and sherry.
Police also said they found a large quantity of marijuana products in the house, including edibles, shatter (a type of cannabis concentrate) and one-gram amounts packaged in foil for sale. They said they also seized $1,860 in cash.
Trennert was arrested at his apartment after officers in plain clothes saw people arriving at the apartment in the morning, before the liquor stores open, then leaving shortly after carrying alcohol.
According to court documents, one woman they stopped said she had paid $40 for two bottles of Private Stock sherry she had in her bag. She refused to say who she bought them from then, according to police reports, screaming "undercover cop!"
Police arrested Trennert shortly after, fearing the woman was trying to warn him of their presence.
In their application for the search warrant, the RCMP said they decided to set up surveillance on the apartment after receiving a number of tips about the alleged bootlegging operation.
Police said they also witnessed Trennert paying cash for $900 worth of liquor at the downtown liquor store.