Criminal Law – Controlled Drugs and Substances Act – Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Methamphetamine
The accused was charged with possession of methamphetamine and cocaine for the purposes of trafficking contrary to s. 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, possession of oxycodone contrary to s. 4(1) of the Act and possession of a weapon, a machete, dangerous to the public peace contrary to s. 88 of the Criminal Code. The accused had been a passenger in a vehicle that was driven by C.J. at the time the RCMP stopped the vehicle. C.J. was also charged and then convicted after a trial held prior to that of the accused. She was found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking (see: 2019 SKPC 18). At the accused’s trial, Crown and defence counsel agreed that evidence taken at C.J.’s trial would be admitted, including her testimony and that of RCMP officers involved in the arrest as well as that of an officer testifying as an expert that the amount of drugs found in the vehicle was typical of trafficking. C.J. also testified at the accused’s trial. She admitted that she was a daily user of methamphetamine and that the accused often supplied her with drugs when he visited her in Edmonton. She said that the accused and his girlfriend drove her to Manitoba and back to Saskatchewan, using drugs en route that she believed were provided by one or the other of them. C.J. said that she did not know that drugs were in the vehicle at the time the officer stopped the vehicle because if she had known that, she would have used them. C.J. testified that when the police stopped the vehicle, the accused panicked and stuffed many items of drug paraphernalia into her purse. When the accused testified, he claimed that he had not met C.J. before the road trip and denied even knowing that any of the drugs or paraphernalia found in the vehicle were there. He said that the machete and an axe were in the back seat because he removed them from his parents’ house to keep them away from his children when they visited. He was conveying them to a friend’s place for storage. The issue was whether the accused was in possession of the controlled substances because he knew that they were in the vehicle.
HELD: The accused was found guilty of all charges. The court assessed the credibility of the accused under the test set out in D.W. and found that it did not believe his evidence and that C.J. was a credible witness. As there was no direct evidence that the accused knew the drugs were in the vehicle, it was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty in the context of the circumstantial evidence. The most likely inference to be drawn was that the accused often drove to locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan to transport drugs obtained from his girlfriend. Further, he possessed the machete as means of protection and or intimidation as part of his drug trade.