HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Intercepted Calls Talk Of 'Babies' And 'Cutting Stalks'
Pubdate: Fri, 10 Oct 2008
Source: Miramichi Leader (CN NK)
Copyright: 2008 Brunswick News Inc.
Author: Laura MacInnis
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The provincial court heard David Black refer to his "six foot tall
babies" as the Crown played calls intercepted by police.

As part Operation Jackpot - a covert investigation of a marijuana
growing operation - officers recorded more than 77,000 intercepted

During the trial against David and his mother Josephine Black, for
obtaining proceeds of crime and money laundering, prosecutor Ann Marie
Simmons played dozens of conversations David took part in, including
several at his store - Buddy's Maritime Hydroponics at the Big Red
Barn as well as the bar upstairs.

Most of the conversations judge Steven M. Hutchinson listened to
involved discussions about the best way to "dry" and "cut the stalk"
of an unnamed crop, with several men who have been found guilty of
producing marijuana for a major growing operation, including Rodney

Cpl. Jody Whyte with the Miramichi Police Force went over the
transcripts to confirm what he knew of the voices on the tapes -
saying several times the sound quality was too poor to say for sure
who was speaking.

However, many parts in the conversations were very

Listening to intercepted conversations at Buddy's, it was necessary
for everyone in the courtroom to wear specially designed headphones.
These headphones are designed to break up the static in the recording
so voices can be heard more clearly.

And when listening to the recorded conversations, Black frequently
asked to listen to the original optic disc recording - not trusting
the re-recorded CDs.

In some taped phone calls Black can be heard speaking with several
people whom the police were also following and found hydroponics grow
operations in their homes and properties. These conversations
frequently consisted of opinions on growing a crop and how to properly
dry and cut it:

David Black - "When it dries it shrinks real tight on the

UKM - "Where do you clip it - in a warehouse..."

Black - "yeah, I got a..."

UKM - "Big operation."

Black - "I got another bigger one, but I rented it

UKM - "Oh, okay"

UKM - "You could do a lot in one day, wouldn't ya."

Black - "Ya, you could do the whole f*ing thing in one

"After that it's just a matter of cutting it off the stalk,

Speaking to an unknown male in November 2004, David talks about his

Black - "Going to the babysitting room, dropping off the babies

UKM - "How big are your babies?"

Black - "They're big ones - six feet."

Then there was the conversation between David and Rodney Turcotte
dated April 11 - eight days before the takedown in which both men were
arrested - in which Turcotte can be heard asking for "help" paying

Turcotte - ."..I used 250 - I need a little more to pay my bills. Can
he bring it over?"

Black - "If he don't, I will."

Turcotte - "I need 250..."

Black - "250, no."

Turcotte - "At least two. I can't even get $100 for

Black - "Okay..."

Josephine's lawyer, McClusky, pointed out his client only appeared on
one of the recordings and in it someone has called her home looking
for David.

"He's asleep," she told the person and then said she would go and get

McClusky also noted she is not in any of the recordings that take
place at Buddy's.

So far the Crown has only played "drug related calls" and plans to
call an expert witness to interpret the meanings of these
conversations. Simmons also called Deirdre Dunn, a transcriber and
monitor for the RCMP, who was responsible for the transcriptions the
court was using to follow the dialogue.

David, defending himself at trial, told the court he had a problem
with the transcripts and wanted an opportunity to cross-examine her -
but once he started the court realized he was working with an
improperly bound transcription that was prepared for his actual drug
trial next month. His issue with the transcription merely turned out
to be a page out of place, so the transcription was accepted as evidence.

As the Crown wraps up its evidence on Black's possible drug dealings,
more intercepted calls are expected to be played involving the direct
charges of laundering and obtaining proceeds of crime.
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