Placentia man charged with cocaine trafficking victim of entrapment, judge rules

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Drug trafficking, forcible confinement charges against 3 Edmonton men in Meadow Lake, Sask.

The charges against a Newfoundland man found guilty of trafficking cocaine have been stayed after the judge ruled there was an abuse of process during the investigation.

He was found guilty last November on two counts of trafficking cocaine in the Placentia area in June 2013. 

However, before convictions were entered he applied to have the charges stayed on the grounds of being entrapped by police into committing the crimes.

Undercover officers

The charges came after an undercover sting where two female RCMP officers were assigned to investigate a perceived drug problem in the Placentia area.

The two went undercover and bought cocaine off of the man at three separate times over two days.

In the first instance they bought less than a gram at a local bar in Placentia and then the next day met again on two separate occasions to buy even more.

Judge Robert Stack wrote that the facts from that day were enough to find him guilty of the two counts, but that following his application and subsequent investigation the cocaine transactions were indeed examples of entrapment.

Abuse of process

In his decision, Stack wrote that the man would not have sold the cocaine to the undercover officers in the first instance had they not "offered the accused the opportunity to commit an offense without a reasonable suspicion nor pursuant to a bona fide inquiry."

With regards to the second and third transactions, he wrote that they "cannot stand on the crumbled foundation of the first." He said that all three of the transactions amounted to an abuse of process.

"The second transaction, concluded on the very next day by the same undercover officers as a continuation of the events from Friday, does nothing further to give rise to a reasonable suspicion. It is fruit poisoned by the tree of the first transaction."