Police arrange an undercover drug buy. The undercover officer receives a text message indicating that a camper van would be arriving at a certain location and the driver would be able to sell the buyer some crack. After the van arrives, the officer receives a phone call from a number he does not recognize, and the caller tells him to “go North”. He witnesses a person in the passenger seat of the camper van pointing North. Moments later, he receives another call from the same number telling him to “go talk to the guy with the dog”. The undercover officer then purchases crack cocaine from a man walking a dog. Police maintain continuity of the van, and eventually pull it over to identify the occupants. The seller is identified, as is an unknown male. The client is not found to be in the van, but police state they did not check the washroom of the camper. Later, having been shown a photo of the client in the company of the person who sold him the drugs, the undercover officer identifies him as the person in the passenger seat of the camper van. Client charged with trafficking as a party to the offence for directing the officer to the seller. Defence argued that identity could not be established, and even if it could, client could not be found to have aided and abetted the drug deal.

Held: Acquitted. Identity could not be established.

The officer’s evidence that the accused was the person in the passenger seat of the camper van was unreliable. The officer did not know the accused, and only identified him after being shown a photo that suggested the accused knew the seller. Further, the court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that, even if the accused had been the passenger in the camper van, that he was the person on the phone with the undercover officer.