Defence appeal from conviction on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and flight from police. Appellant was found with 34.7g of methamphetamine in his pocket. At trial, a police constable was qualified as an expert and gave opinion evidence that the quantity of drugs was consistent with trafficking, and not personal consumption. Issue as to the trial judge’s reliance on this expert evidence.

Held: Appeal allowed (in part).

Crown conceded appeal in relation to charge of flight from police. No error found in the trial judge’s treatment of the expert opinion evidence. “There is no rule that the evidence of a ‘first time’ expert cannot be accepted, nor is it an impediment that he is employed by the police service …[a]n expert on drug activity is entitled to develop that expertise by observations of the drug trade, by talking to other experts, and by general involvement in policing of the drug trade”. Jacobs, 2014 ABCA 172 distinguished.

 P. Moreau – Defence Counsel