HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html U.S. Agent Scolded By B.C. Judge
Pubdate: Thu,  8 Aug 2002
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Province
Page A29
Author: Barbara McLintock


The conduct of a U.S. drug enforcement agent who snuck into Canada to set 
up a drug buy was so appalling the Canadian involved should not be 
extradited to face charges in the United States, a B.C. Supreme Court judge 
has ruled.

Justice Janice Dillon instead took the rare step of ordering a judicial 
stay of proceedings in the case of Dave Licht, who was wanted in California 
for trafficking and possession of cocaine.

"The conduct of a United States civilian police agent entering Canada 
without the knowledge or consent of Canadian authorities, in defiance of 
known Canadian requirements for legal conduct, with the express purpose to 
entice Canadians to the United States to commit criminal acts in that 
jurisdiction, and acting illegally to offer to sell cocaine in Canada, is 
shocking to the Canadian conscience," Dillon wrote.

The incident began in the summer of 1999 when the U.S. Drug Enforcement 
Agency and the RCMP began working co-operatively on what's known as a 
"reverse-sting operation" involving the sale of up to 75 kilograms of 
cocaine at a time.

But when the U.S. authorities one day later wanted to deal in only 
one-kilogram amounts, the RCMP said they weren't interested in continuing.

Despite that, the civilian confidential informant continued working on his 
own and met with Licht two weeks later.

Because of that meeting, Licht went to the United States, became involved 
in various drug deals, and was charged.

"This is one of those rare cases where an abuse of process is readily 
apparent," wrote Dillon.

"A United States police agent entered Canada without proper immigration 
status to carry out an illegal activity without the knowledge or consent of 
the RCMP and knowing that the RCMP had withdrawn consent to further 
involvement in the reverse-sting operation.  This conduct is clearly 
contrary to Canadian sovereign interests."
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