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Saskatchewan judge throws out massive drug case because of illegal search

Bre McAdam (CJME News Talk 980) – A British Columbia man caught with over $3 million worth of marijuana and cocaine in Saskatchewan is walking free after a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled Tuesday that the search which found the drugs was a charter violation.

In June of 2007, an RCMP officer pulled over Gerard Stephane Turpin’s motor home on the Trans-Canada highway near Moose Jaw after suspecting that Turpin had been drinking.

That wasn’t the case, but the officer claimed that Turpin was acting nervous and arrested him for possession of stolen property after reading the wrong vehicle identity number. He then ordered a search, where a sniffer dog eventually found the drugs in one of several hidden compartments in the motor home.

“He [the officer] claimed to be looking for evidence that the vehicle was stolen when he was almost certainly engaged in a search for evidence of drugs,” Justice Dennis Ball wrote in a published court decision released on Tuesday.

He ruled the drugs could not be used as evidence because the RCMP officer “did not have reasonable or probable grounds to believe the motor home was stolen” and therefore no reason to conduct a search in the first place.

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Categories: Failing to do Their Duties, Shoddy Investigations.

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