Mar 17, 2014

Summary of R v Jeffrey Mavin

R v Jeffrey Mavin, 2013 SKQB 228 (CanLII)
The accused was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking contrary to s. 5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as well as other charges for possession of Ecstasy, LSD and cannabis under 30 grams. The accused pled guilty to the possession charges and not guilty to trafficking of cocaine. The accused's residence had been searched by the RCMP pursuant to a warrant issued for the purpose of finding evidence of possession of controlled substances for the purpose of trafficking. The police found and seized 13 grams of cocaine, the other drugs, drug paraphernalia, electronic scales, Ziploc packages and a cell phone. At the police station, the accused admitted that he was a long-term drug user, particularly of marijuana, but an infrequent user of cocaine and LSD. He denied selling drugs and was not aware that any of his friends trafficked from his home. Prior to the search, a friend had slept at his residence for three weeks. An RCMP officer searched the cell phone and testified that he identified about 300 text messages. One of the messages dated on the day of the search read: 'how much for three' and the answer was '280'. Another officer testified as an expert regarding drug use and trafficking and provided evidence of usage patterns of cocaine in the province. He testified that cocaine is usually purchased in quantities of .5 to 3.5 grams and users do not stockpile it. The common price is $280 for 3 grams of cocaine. Based on this, the officer concluded that the 13 grams found in the search was intended to be sold. The accused testified that he had purchased the cocaine for his personal use for the upcoming long weekend and argued that the average price of cocaine in Moosomin was much lower and that the officer's estimate of the amount a heavy user might ingest was much lower in his experience. The Crown did not have evidence that the cell belonged to the accused and the accused testified that it was used both by him and by other members of his family and by his friends. He acknowledged that some of the messages were his regarding drug purchases but not the ones associated with the purchase or sale of cocaine. He admitted that the cell phone was in his possession for some of the time on the day of the search but subject to the use of others as well.HELD: The Court accepted most of the accused's evidence and it supported the accused's explanation that the drug was for his personal use and that he was not the only user of the cell phone. The record of calls on the cell phone was not complete and there was other evidence that the time that messages were sent, received or read was unreliable. The Court found the accused not guilty of possession for the purposes of trafficking and guilty of possession of cocaine.