Feb 27, 2015

Summary of R v Bui

R v Bui, 2014 SKPC 213 (CanLII)

Criminal Law - Controlled Drugs and Substances - Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking - Cocaine

The accused was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to s. 5(2) of The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and with possession of proceeds of crime, funds in the amount of $1,800, contrary to s. 355(b) of the Criminal Code. The police had stopped the vehicle being driven by the accused. There were two passengers. The officer could see the accused jumping around in his seat as the officer approached the vehicle, which he regarded as a red flag in the course of a traffic stop. The accused’s driver’s licence was from British Columbia and the officer noted that under its terms he was only allowed to have one passenger. The vehicle had Saskatchewan plates and the accused said that it belonged to someone else but only knew their first name. The accused became very argumentative when told that he was violating his licence and said that the passengers were his brothers. The passengers were not related to the accused. The officer noted that the passengers’ behaviour grew increasingly nervous during the traffic stop. After discovering the accused had outstanding warrants for other violations of his licence, the officer arrested the accused and searched him. The officer found a wad of bills totaling $1,250 in his pocket. He told the officer that it was money that had been given to him by his family, but stated that he had $600. The officers suspected that the group were involved with drug trafficking although no drugs were found on the accused during the search. When one of the passengers was searched at the station, he had baggies of cocaine concealed in his shorts. Later the police found another bag of cocaine on the street at the scene of the stop. The other passenger’s cell phone rang incessantly during the stop, and when the officer answered it, the caller asked why it was taking so long and wanted delivery.
HELD: The court found the accused guilty of both counts. The totality of the evidence regarding the charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking convinced the court that the accused had been driving the vehicle in the course of a dial-a-dope operation, that he was aware of the drugs and was an active participant in the enterprise. Under s. 4(3)(b) of the Code, the court held that the accused was deemed to be in possession of the cocaine. The court was satisfied that the monies held by the accused were from the sale of cocaine and were proceeds of crime.