Client was charged with possession of drugs, including cocaine and heroin, for the purpose of trafficking, along with the possession of a tazer. Potential jail sentence if convicted after trial could have been in the 5 year range. Amount of drugs seized indicative of wholesale trafficking. A search warrant was executed on a residence based on an informant tip and other information. Upon entry to the residence, the client was located in the living room lying on an air mattress. There were no other occupants at the time of the search. All contraband was found in a safe in the closet of the bedroom. The safe was locked, but could easily be picked up and carried away. Identity documents and papers in the names of other individuals found in the residence. Client’s only apparent tie to the residence was being “found in”.
Crown theory was that the client was babysitting a stash house and that no one would have left him in the house alone with a safe that he could have carried away unless he was a part of the trafficking operation. Matter set for trial on the basis that Crown could not prove possession in these circumstances.
Held: On trial date, as Crown counsel was preparing his officers to testify, Crown agreed to resolve file with a guilty plea to one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and a sentenced of “time served”, the equivalent of 16.5 months.