Feb 27, 2015

Summary of R v Pang Chu

R v Pang Chu, 2014 SKQB 414 (CanLII)

Criminal Law - Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - Trafficking
Criminal Law - Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - Conspiracy to Traffic

The accused was charged with trafficking in and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. The police had suspected him of trafficking and had him and his assumed associates under surveillance for six months. The police identified a particular residence as a stash house for the group. Between June and September, video tapes showed the accused had visited the stash house 47 times. Under a search warrant, the police seized cocaine, cash, equipment, and materials to cut, press and package cocaine. The police obtained authorization to intercept private communications of the accused and the others in the group. An officer qualified as an expert to give opinion evidence regarding the coded language of drug dealers testified that there were various examples of such language found in the intercepted communications. The other evidence submitted against the accused by the police related to their surveillance of the accused with another man in the group. After the two had met, police observed the accused give a backpack to the other man. When the police stopped the other man’s vehicle, they found 3 ounces of cocaine in the backpack. The accused admitted that he had trafficked, but only in steroids and OxyContin during the period in question. He had used the residence as his stash house for the storage of those drugs. He was friends with all the people who frequented the stash house but denied being a part of any enterprise with them involving trafficking cocaine. He had used the man whose vehicle was stopped as a runner for his steroid trafficking and had given him an empty backpack, expecting the man to return it to him with the cash that was owed for sales of steroids. As the case against the accused was based on circumstantial evidence and the evidence corroborated his testimony, the defence argued that guilt of the offences charged was not the only reasonable inference to draw from the Crown’s evidence.
HELD: The accused was found guilty of both charges. The court did not believe the accused’s evidence that he only trafficked in steroids and OxyContin and was not trafficking in cocaine or that he was part of an enterprise to traffic in it.