Section 6(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances act – Importation of Cocaine
A.R., arrived at the Calgary International Airport inbound from the middle east. As A.R. went through customs, a CBSA agent (Canada Border Services agent) flagged A.R. for a secondary search. This was probably because the CBSA agent discovered that A.R. was on bail for allegations of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
During the course of the CBSA secondary search, the CBSA agents discovered a large number of beauty products, which piqued their interest. The CBSA agents suspected that the beauty products contained narcotics, so they seized the beauty products and analyzed them for the presence of narcotics. The Constitutionally protected Charter rights that afford protection from illegal search or seizure, and right to contact a lawyer, are curtailed when crossing the border. There wasn’t much that A.R. could do.
The beauty products tested positive for the presence of cocaine. A.R. was handed over to the Calgary Police Service where he was arrested and charged with importation of cocaine into Canada and possession for the purpose of trafficking of cocaine, along with a myriad of other charges relating to breaching bail conditions.
A.R. retained defence lawyer Sean Fagan. In this case, securing A.R.’s release on bail was extremely challenging because 1. Importation of drugs into Canada is a very serious offence, and 2. A.R. was already on bail for trafficking in cocaine. Notwithstanding the challenges, Sean Fagan was successful at securing A.R.’s release expeditiously.
From there Sean Fagan took immediate steps to ensure that a proper analysis of the impugned substances was conducted without delay. The drug testing techniques that are used at most airports are not the same testing procedures that are required for proof in Court. As a consequence of the testing, Sean Fagan affected the withdrawal of all charges within weeks of the initial arrest.