Client charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime. RCMP officer had received information from a confidential informant which led him to conduct surveillance on a particular vehicle. The vehicle was watched by police for about 2.5 hours, during which time police described a brief meeting with another vehicle “consistent with a drug transaction” and otherwise describing the vehicle as driving aimlessly throughout Fort McMurrary. At trial, the only information the officer could testify to, to protect identity of the informant, was that he had been told that a dark skinned male with dark spiky hair was traficking cocaine in Fort McMurray out of a new dark blue SUV. He then testified that surveillance was set up on client’s 2002 blue GMC envoy and the observations previously noted were made. After the “suspected drug transaction was noted” the officer instructed other officers to stop the vehicle and arrest the driver for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. This was done and about 10 grams of cocaine and money was found on the person of the client during a search incidental to arrest.
Held: Not guilty.
Trial judge found, that while the officer in his own mind may have had the grounds to direct the client be arrested, based on the information that could be revealed in testimony, reaonsonable grounds did not exist. The trial judge excluded the evidence found in the search saying that in the circumstances that could be revealed in testimony, the administration of justice would be borught into disrepute by allowing the evidence to be entered at trial.