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Recent Cases

Importation Charges Withdrawn

charges withdraw

Our criminal lawyer in Calagary, Ms. Williamson recently represented a young man charged with importation and possession for the purpose of production. Canadian border officials stopped two packages addressed to her client coming from China. The packages seemed “suspicious” so they were opened and inspected. A sample of the substance contained in one package was sent for analysis. The laboratory report identified the substances as a pre-pre cursor to MDMA. Calgary Police Service along with officers from ALERT obtained several types of warrants and set up a controlled delivery. Her client accepted the packages from an undercover officer posing as a parcel delivery worker. After, the controlled delivery, a no-knock warrant was executed and several officers broke into her client’s home. Several items were seized including an iPad, a tablet and a phone. However, no evidence of ordering any substance from China was found nor was there any evidence of tracking any incoming shipments.

Importation of a controlled substance is a very serious offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). The applicable sections state:

Importing and exporting

6 (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall import into Canada or export from Canada a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI.

Possession for the purpose of exporting

(2) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI for the purpose of exporting it from Canada.

Punishment

  • (3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)
    • (a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life;
    • (a.1) [Repealed, 2022, c. 15, s. 16]
    • (b) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III, V or VI,
      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and
    • (c) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,
      • (i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or
      • (ii) is guilty of an offence punishable by summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

If convicted the typical sentence begins at three years in prison for a Schedule I substance. In Ms. Williamson’s case, it was a Schedule VI substance. There is no reported case law canvassing this specific pre-precursor.

Through a skillful attack and negotiation, Ms. Williamson was able to get both charges withdrawn. There were several weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case including the lack of evidence to prove the mens rea (knowledge and intent) to commit the offence. The other offence was possession for the purpose of production. There was no evidence to ground a conviction for this offence either. In order to produce MDMA several other chemicals are needed. The cook or chemist needs several items (tools/devices) none of which were found in the execution of the search warrant. Ms. Williamson achieved the best result for her client.

This case demonstrates why and how experience can work in your favour. Understanding the jurisprudence on these offences and what the prosecutor needs to prove the case against you allows your experienced lawyer to build the best possible defence while tearing the prosecutor’s case to bits.

If you have been charged with importation or possession for the purpose of production you need a serious lawyer to defend these serious accusations. The lawyers at Alberta Legal do this every single day. Call us now.

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