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Pubdate: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 Source: Richmond News (CN BC) Copyright: 2011, Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc. Contact: http://www.richmond-news.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1244 Author: Sean Sullivan, Postmedia News BOTCHED DRUG PROBE MOUNTIE FACES SURREY SIX CHARGES Lead Cop in Failed Ecstasy Case Allegedly Obstructed Investigation An RCMP officer charged in relation to the Surrey Six slaying was responsible for a botched 2007 investigation that led a B.C. judge to toss out all evidence seized from a Richmond ecstasy lab, a recent judgment shows. Cpl. Danny Michaud was one of four officers suspended with pay in 2010 following an Ontario Provincial Police probe into allegations that one of the Surrey Six officers had an inappropriate relationship with a witness. It came to light last week that Michaud led a separate investigation into an ecstasy lab that "ignored" the Charter rights of five suspects, leading the judge to exclude evidence such as ecstasy tablets, methamphetamine, ketamine powder and empty pill bottles. "The RCMP officer in charge of the investigation was Cpl. Michaud and he must accept the responsibility for leading an investigation that ignored and flaunted the accused's Charter of Rights, and did so consistently over a 14- month period," Judge Paul R. Meyers wrote in the June 21 ruling, which was released last week. "One might have thought that the investigation took place before the Charter of Rights had been enacted," he continued. Michaud was charged in June with breach of trust, obstruction of justice and attempting to mislead Ontario police investigators in relation to the Surrey Six investigation. Six men were executed with gunshots to the head in the October 2007 gangland slaying at an apartment in Surrey's Balmoral Tower. Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed Wednesday that Michaud continues to receive a paycheque from the RCMP. Sgt, Derek Brassington, Staff-Sgt. David Attew and Cpl. Paul Johnston are also charged in relation to the Surrey Six investigation, and are also suspended without pay. In all, the four men face 20 criminal charges. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.