Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jul 2016
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Page: 4
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Chris Doucette

Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)

A Toronto cop who, along with three fellow officers, is accused of 
planting drugs in a man's car in 2014 now faces new charges for his 
arrest of the same suspect a year earlier.

Const. Benjamin Elliot first came under fire last fall during Nguyen 
Son Tran's trial when a judge accused him and colleagues Const. 
Jeffery Tout, Det.-Const. Fraser Douglas, and Const. Michael Taylor 
of lying under oath and planting evidence to justify an illegal vehicle search.

Those allegations prompted an investigation by the service's 
Professional Standards Unit and in January the four cops were charged 
with obstructing justice and perjury.

A few weeks later, Tout was charged with an additional count of 
perjury and two more counts of obstructing justice stemming from 
Tran's 2014 arrest in East Chinatown. At the time, Elliot and Douglas 
were each also charged with an additional count of obstructing 
justice in connection with the 2014 heroin bust.

All of the charges against the officers have yet to be tested in court.

On Wednesday, Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash revealed Elliot 
now faces two new counts of obstructing justice and one count of 
perjury stemming from his January 2013 arrest of Tran.

"When the first charges were laid early this year, Chief Mark 
Saunders assured the public that Professional Standards would review 
other cases involving the four accused officers to see if there was 
any cause for concern," Pugash said. "That is exactly what is happening."

The internal investigation, which is expected to scrutinize hundreds 
of cases, is ongoing.


Illegal Search

Here's what we know:

- - On Jan. 4, 2013, Nguyen Son Tran was arrested on drug charges by 
Toronto Police Const. Benjamin Elliot after a traffic stop.

- - On Jan. 13, 2014, Tran was out on bail when he was stopped again, 
allegedly for running a red light at Gerrard St. E. and Broadview Ave.

- - Elliot and three other officers claimed drugs were visible on the 
dash of Tran's Toyota Camry, prompting a search that found nearly 12 
grams of plastic-wrapped heroin stashed in the steering column.

- - Justice Leslie Chapin ruled the search was legal and Tran pleaded 
guilty to drug trafficking.
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