Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2005
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Sam Pazzano
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Man Cleared Of Pot Charges After Illegal Search

An illegal search by Durham Regional Police undermined the
prosecution's case in the discovery of more than 500 marijuana plants
in a Pickering grow-op, a judge ruled yesterday. Justice Barry
MacDougall dismissed all four drug charges against Edmond Kim, 30,
saying police violated his Charter rights with an illegal search.

The judge ruled there was no immediate threat to life or evidence that
would have justified a search without a warrant.


MacDougall excluded all the evidence -- including more than $400,000
worth of marijuana -- seized in the search and tossed out the charges.

"The message is police can't have shortcuts, violate people's rights
by conducting illegal searches," said Kim's lawyer, Leora Shemesh.

"There is a running theme in Durham that every Asian person in this
community has a grow-op. How many homes do police break into and find

Police action was triggered by a report of two vicious dogs, a
Rottweiler and a Labrador-cross, running wild in the Highview Rd. area
and a report that a boy had been bitten in April 2003.

Two police officers, with guns drawn, pursued the animals. One cop
shot at and missed one dog and then chased both animals into the
house's open front door.


Const. Bob Elliott, who smelled the strong odour of unburned
marijuana, shut the door on the dogs and concluded there must have
been a break-in and that the burglar was now trapped in the house.

After waiting for two hours, the officers entered the

The judge said the police didn't take the proper steps to investigate
whether a burglary had occurred.

Crown attorney Sevag Yeghoyan said the judge's decision was
"thorough," but the officers felt they had to "do something about
these vicious dogs."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin