HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Cop Arrested For Trafficking
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Jan 2002
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Randy Jones and Brian Hayes


An RCMP officer who had a knack for sniffing out drug dealers has been 
charged with drug trafficking.

Const. Joseph Daniel Ryan, 31, a longtime member of Tantallon RCMP's street 
team, was arraigned Thursday on one count of selling marijuana. A fellow 
RCMP officer arrested Const. Ryan without incident in Halifax at about 6 
p.m. Wednesday.

A member of the RCMP for almost six years, Const. Ryan was charged with one 
count of trafficking marijuana. The officer, who goes by the name Danny, 
was taken to the Enfield RCMP detachment and held overnight.

RCMP major crime and plainclothes officers were involved in the 
investigation, but the force refuses to say much about the circumstances of 
the arrest.

A source told this newspaper about 1.3 kilograms of marijuana was seized in 
the Halifax bust.

Documents filed with Halifax provincial court, in which Const. Ryan was 
arraigned Thursday and released, allege the offence happened Wednesday in 

"The information regarding this allegation came to us a short time ago and 
because of the seriousness of the allegations, . . . we acted upon it right 
away," Sgt. Wayne Noonan, the RCMP's provincial spokesman, said Thursday.

"We deployed a multitude of resources, both physical and otherwise, to the 

Const. Ryan has spent his entire career with the 40-member Tantallon RCMP 
detachment outside Halifax. He spent most of that time on the street team, 
a two-man plainclothes unit that concentrates on street-level drug dealers 
and growers.

Although its members remained anonymous, the street team has received 
extensive coverage in recent years. It racked up millions of dollars 
annually in drug seizures.

Sgt. Noonan said it's too early to say whether additional charges could be 
laid, but Const. Ryan has been suspended with pay.

Speaking to reporters at RCMP headquarters in Halifax, Sgt. Noonan would 
not say whether the arrest has compromised investigations the street team 

"It would be premature for me to say anything about that right now. I don't 
really know, I guess, is my best answer," he said.

Sgt. Noonan also dismissed the possibility the charge has called into 
question evidence storage practices.

Officials with the Public Prosecution Service of Nova Scotia and the 
federal Justice Department, which prosecuted many of Const. Ryan's cases, 
were reluctant Thursday to say whether any of the street team's cases 
should be reinvestigated.

"We're going to look at what information there is and thoroughly examine 
whether or not a further review needs to be done," said Glenn Chamberlain, 
the federal Justice Department's spokesman.

With Const. Ryan as a guiding force, the street team has made hundreds of 
busts, everything from the arrest of an alleged small-time drug dealer at 
the Otter Lake landfill to a raid on a $1.3-million indoor growing 
operation at a Hammonds Plains Road home.

In 2000, for instance, the team seized 1,668 marijuana plants with an 
estimated street value of $2.8 million, 10 kilograms of processed marijuana 
worth about $220,000, three kilograms of hash worth about $62,000, $76,000 
worth of growing equipment, and an assortment of other drugs like crack 
cocaine and ecstasy worth about $10,000.

Those numbers were racked up in 50 raids that resulted in 125 drug charges 
and 120 other criminal charges.

In 1999, the street team seized more than $2.13 million in drugs, stolen 
vehicles and cash.

But not all the busts were successful.

In October 2000, almost 70 RCMP officers, including members of the 
emergency response team, major crime unit and proceeds-of-crime section, 
raided numerous homes in Pockwock, near Hammonds Plains.

The raids - the result of intelligence gathered by the street team over six 
to eight months - did not result in major seizures although they were given 
extensive media coverage.

The force took flak from the community, and several months later reports 
started to surface that some senior officers were less than happy with the 

Last summer, the street team again made headlines when members charged five 
people with public nudity in July after the detachment received complaints 
about nudity and sexual acts at Crystal Crescent Beach.

The Crown dropped the charges after a few months of controversy.

Officers at the Tantallon detachment were reluctant to discuss their 
friend's arrest Thursday, although a few admitted they were shocked and 

Sgt. Noonan tried to sum up their feelings.

"I think, right now, we're all in some sort of state of shock. But again, I 
would emphasize that nobody has been convicted of anything just yet," he said.

Const. Ryan, who joined the RCMP while living in Campbell's Bay, Que., near 
Montreal, has a common-law wife and one child.

When he was arrested, he was awaiting a transfer to Ottawa. A little over a 
week ago, Tantallon officers said they were organizing a going-away party 
for him.

Const. Ryan could not be reached for comment.
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