Drug Seizure – Acquittal – Illegal Search

The RCMP stopped the accused near Salmon Arm, British Columbia for speeding. The officer testified that he noticed a strong odor of perfume coming from the inside the vehicle. He made observations that the accused appeared to be a bit nervous, and suspected that contraband could be involved. There was luggage in the back seat which did not belong to the accused.

Accused was detained for investigation in the possession of a controlled substance. While knowing the smell of perfume, he said that he also noticed a hint of marijuana smell. The vehicle was searched, and 248.5 grams of marijuana were found inside the car.

Defence Action
The defence challenged the legality of the search under s. 80 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It was asserted that the officer did not have the grounds to detain the accused and then to search him.

Decision
The Honourable judge did not find that the consolation of facts that were known to the officer at the time of detention were capable of providing any objective suspicion of criminal activity on the part of the accused. Numerous charges were excluded and the charge was dismissed against the driver.

R. vs TTS BC provincial court March 16, 2012 20920-1 Salmon Arm Registry