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Calgary Criminal Law & Misdemeanours Law Blog

Alberta raid leads to possession, trafficking charges

On July 16, officials from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team's Green Team and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shut down a marijuana growing operation near Millet. As a result of the raid, a 22-year-old Wetaskiwin man has been charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and production. The investigation is reportedly ongoing and may lead to additional charges and other individuals being taken into custody.

According to officers, the investigation into the grow-op site began after an anonymous tipster reported it to Crime Stoppers. Although the land was designated as a legal medicinal marijuana grow-op site, officers allegedly discovered almost double the amount of plants authorized to be grown under Health Canada's medicinal marijuana rules. Police seized the 372 marijuana plants and growing equipment they found during the operation. The plants are reportedly valued at $445,000.

Motorcycle rider charged with stunt driving and DWI

An Alberta man is facing multiple charges after being stopped for speeding on July 5. The driver was stopped and charged with being over 80 mgs, DWI and stunt driving.

An officer with the East Algoma OPP detachment spotted the motorcyclist travelling at a high rate of speed on Highway 17, according to reports. The officer checked the motorcyclist's speed with radar, which reportedly registered a speed of 152 km/h. The incident occurred in a 70 km/h zone. The officer reportedly determined that the motorcyclist had consumed alcohol. The officer took the driver into custody on suspicion of impaired driving. On Sept. 4, he is slated to appear in Blind River at the Ontario Court of Justice.

Court rules woman can keep home

If the province wants to seize a person's residence, they must take care to handle the case correctly from start to finish, according the Alberta Court of Appeal in a ruling on July 7. The issue related to a lower court's order to confiscate the home because marijuana had been grown in the residence. However, the higher court determined that the value of the drugs taken by authorities was not admissible in court. A 66-year-old woman submitted the case after police raided her home in June 2010 and reportedly discovered 128 plants there. Her lawyer was relieved by the ruling as she felt the case determined that the province needed to have solid evidence to seize a person's home.

The woman had entered a guilty plea to marijuana production and was sentenced to 12 months of conditional release. Since the residence was supposedly used in the commission of a crime, the government wanted to take ownership of it. While her admission of guilt proved the home's involvement in the crime, the judge had the final say in the matter. Case precedent has given judges wide discretion in deciding whether or not to seize a home, especially when the home is worth much more than the drugs.

RCMP warns public about stun guns disguised as cellphones

Officers with the RCMP in Alberta recently seized two stun guns that were camouflaged to look like iPhones. Stun guns are conducted energy devices, which are classified as prohibited weapons, and individuals who are in possession of them may face weapons charges.

Officers seized one stun gun after receiving a report that someone was attempting to sell the device. Within 24 hours, police received a report of a disturbance outside a Hinton-area bar. When police responded to the report, they seized another stun gun disguised as an iPhone. One defendant was taken into custody and has been charged with possession of a prohibited weapon and assault with a weapon. She has been scheduled to appear on July 2 in Hinton provincial court.

Authorities looking for man accused in attack

Alberta authorities believe that a man committed a sexual attack against a woman during the evening of June 15 in Calgary in a residential community. The woman reported she did not know the person who attacked her. Law enforcement officials expressed their concern regarding the matter since the city has very few incidents of this type of sex crime.

The police released a video that showed a woman getting on the C-Train. A few stops later, a man boarded the same train. Both individuals got off at Heritage Station and then rode the Calgary Transit bus just before 11 p.m. The pair were the only passengers, and both disembarked at the same stop about 15 minutes later. He reportedly trailed her as she walked along before attacking her on a pathway between Canata Close and Canterbury Drive S.W. He allegedly threatened her with an undisclosed weapon and sexually assaulted her. She was eventually able to flee the man and called authorities. She suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby medical facility for further treatment.

Police detain 5 men on drug charges

Alberta police have taken five people into custody on suspicion of drug trafficking after two separate raids in Edmonton. The arrests took place on June 4, and authorities say they were the result of a five-month trafficking investigation in the area. The defendants are all men between the ages of 21 and 55, and at the time of reporting, they were scheduled for bail hearings regarding the alleged drug offences.

Sources suggest that great quantities of narcotics were uncovered during the raid, including 6 kilograms of hashish, 14.1 kilograms of heroin and 292 kilograms of marijuana. Combined, the substances have an estimated street value nearing $9 million. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team says that it is one of the largest drug busts that has ever taken place in western Canada.

Man sentenced to 6 years for DUI crash

In 2012, a fatal motorcycle crash in Calgary led to a local man being taken into custody on drunk driving charges. On June 6, a judge acknowledged that man's history of alcoholism but sentenced him to serve six years in prison. He stated that the man also had a history of DUI offences and that alcoholism does not necessarily have to involve driving. A representative of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was on hand to state that she was satisfied with the judgment.

The accident took place in the area of 17th Avenue and 82nd Street S.E. At the time, police said that the man lost control of the van that he was driving and swerved into the opposing lane. He hit a motorcycle being driven by a 45-year-old man, causing the motorcyclist fatal injuries. The van driver later pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death after it was found that his blood alcohol content was between .24 and .25 percent.

Alleged robbers facing additional drug charges

A pair of alleged thieves from central Alberta are facing a series of drug-related and other charges after being taken into custody by RCMP on the night of May 28. The couple reportedly broke into a home south of Red Deer in the town of Innisfail. According to the RCMP, the couple had several weapons and around $17,000 worth of drugs in their possession.

According to an RCMP staff sergeant, officers responded to a report of a break-in at a residence on 59th Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered a man and a woman who allegedly did not belong in the home. The sergeant noted that the residents of the home were not there at the time of the incident. No items appeared to be missing from the residence; however, police discovered weapons, prescription drugs, cannabis resin, heroin and methamphetamine after conducting a search of the pair and their vehicle.

Fatal crash leads to accusations of impairment

According to police, an allegedly impaired driver caused an accident that killed an Alberta resident. The fatal accident took place east of Edmonton on May 19 between Range Road 143 and 144 on Township Road 544. Police say that an eastbound pickup truck struck a parked truck.

The one occupant of the parked truck was killed on impact. The driver who reportedly hit the truck was taken into custody and charged with street racing causing death, dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, driving while over .08 percent, and impaired driving causing death.

Friend of infamous mayor charged in drug case

In political news that is making waves across Alberta, a friend of Rob Ford, the infamous Toronto mayor, is scheduled for trial for extortion and drug charges in the spring of 2015. In October 2013, he was charged for the drug offences, including marijuana trafficking, possession of marijuana, possession of crime earnings and conspiracy to commit a crime during another investigation. The associate and a second male individual were under surveillance by law enforcement.

The associate reportedly met the former mayor at various public locations, including near a school, where they made exchanges of unknown types. Rumours swirled that this friend was feeding the mayor's reported drug habit. The mayor entered drug rehab in May 2014 after reports of his out-of-control behaviours.