Digest: R v Montague-Mitchell, 2018 SKCA 78

DateOctober 18, 2019

Reported as: 2018 SKCA 78

Docket Number: CACR 2939|CACR 2979 , CA18077

Court: Court of Appeal

Date: 2019-10-18


  • Richards
  • Ottenbreit
  • Schwann


  • Criminal Law � Controlled Drugs and Substances Act � Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking � Methamphetamine � Conviction � Appeal

Digest: The accused was convicted after trial by a Provincial Court judge of trafficking in methamphetamine and cocaine and of being in possession of the proceeds of crime. The accused was acquitted of charges of possession for the purposes of trafficking (see: 2017 SKPC 32). He had been arrested as a result of police surveillance of another person they suspected of drug trafficking. The suspect was parked in a truck when the accused attended at it and remained there for two minutes. Believing that they had witnessed a drug transaction, the officers arrested the suspect and found cocaine and methamphetamine in the truck. They then arrested the accused, charged him with trafficking and searched him, whereupon they found two cell phones, $2,770 in cash rolled in small bundles and a set of keys. The keys were found to belong to another individual also being investigated by the police and after obtaining a search warrant, the police searched his apartment and found $26,600 in cash and a bag containing methamphetamine and cocaine, similar to those found in the truck. The accused testified at trial that he had the keys to the apartment because his friend who lived there was leaving for a period of time and wanted the accused to let people into it while he was gone. He denied ever having access to the apartment or know what was in it. The judge did not believe the accused when he said that he had stopped at the truck in the parking lot because someone in it had asked him for a cigarette and convicted him of the charges related to trafficking. Although the judge did not accept the accused�s account of how he came to have the keys to the apartment and found that the only reasonable inference was that he was an associate of the occupant and knew he used it as a stash house, he was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had control and knowledge of the drugs and cash and acquitted him of the charges related to the search of the apartment. The accused appealed his conviction, submitting that the trial judge reversed the burden of proof during the course of his analysis and improperly admitted opinion evidence. He...

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