Focus On

CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES - Possession for the purpose of trafficking - Methamphetamine - Other substances

Tuesday, August 08, 2017 @ 8:43 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the accused, Wu, from conviction for three counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. Cross-appeal by the Crown from the sentence imposed. The accused was arrested in a residence that housed one of the six largest clandestine methamphetamine laboratories ever uncovered by police. The laboratory was capable of producing 12,000 pills per hour. Police seized 150 kilograms of drugs with a street value of $12 million. The accused was the sole occupant of the home when police entered. Four other individuals were arrested as a result of the investigation. At trial, the accused was acquitted of production charges. He was convicted of possession of MDMA, methamphetamine and ketamine for the purpose of trafficking and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. The accused appealed the convictions. The Crown cross-appealed on the basis the sentence was unfit. The Crown sought imposition of a 12-year sentence.

HELD: Appeal and cross-appeal dismissed. The verdict was not unreasonable. The trial judge reasonably found that anybody in the residence for any period of time would have knowledge it housed a serious drug operation. No attempt was made to hide the drugs. Production equipment was in plain view. There was a powdery residue throughout the home. The accused's bag was found near an area with large quantities of drugs in plain view. There was evidence of the accused's involvement with another individual implicated in the operation, the presence of the accused's personal documents in the home, and evidence he had accessed $380,000 in cash months earlier. The totality of the circumstantial evidence supported the trial judge's findings of knowledge and control. No impermissible inferences were drawn from the opinion evidence given by the Crown's expert. The conviction for possession for the purpose of trafficking was not inconsistent with the acquittal on the production counts given the absence of evidence regarding the accused's involvement in the production process. The sentence imposed was not manifestly unfit, and did not involve misapplication of the parity principle. The other perpetrators who received sentences between ten and 16 years were directly implicated in the production process. Sentence: Eight years' imprisonment.

R. v. Wu, [2017] O.J. No. 3868, Ontario Court of Appeal, G.R. Strathy C.J.O., M.L. Benotto and B. Miller JJ.A., July 26, 2017. Digest No. TLD-August72017003