Trial on a number charges including possession of various drugs for the purposes of trafficking. After a traffic stop, police discovered drugs and a gun inside a black bag in the back seat of the vehicle, and more drugs inside a covered rear seat cubby. Issue of whether possession was established.

Held: Acquitted.

 Nguyen, 2009 ABQB 234 followed regarding principles of constructive possession: inference of possession from the totality of circumstantial evidence must be the only reasonable inference. Here, no drugs were in plain view.  Items were located in the rear of the truck where a temporary passenger might not look.  The reason for the initial stop was a broken light, and the accused did not appear nervous. Neither the driver nor passenger owned the vehicle and only hearsay evidence linked the driver to the registered owner. Police did not find any drugs or money on either the driver’s or passenger’s person. Other inferences possible including that the accused borrowed the vehicle for a valid purpose without any knowledge of the contraband.

J. McLeod & M. Grotski – Defence Counsel