Accused Drug Traffickers Acquitted Due to Unreasonable Search
Three people accused of running a $18 million dollar drug plant were acquitted of criminal charges before the Ontario Superior Court earlier this month, as the judge ruled their constitutional rights were violated by police misconduct.
Superior Court Justice Nola Garton found that two York Regional Police officers, Const. Robert Worthman and Scott Browne, executed an unlawful search after spotting a van in Scarborough. As a result, the seizure of 90kg of meth and Ecstacy was inadmissible as evidence. Homewowner "Chuck" Wan Leong, truck driver Wen Chao Huang, and student Jia Zhe He were acquitted of drug possession and trafficking charges.
Worthman testified that he searched without a warrant because he had a "hunch" that a burglary was being committed. Garton ruled that Worthman, an 18-year veteran, should have known he lacked reasonable and probable grounds when he executed the search. He also highlighted several instances where Worthman provided misleading explanations for his actions during his testimony.
Huang's lawyer Bill Bain explained that if Worthman "knew, or had information, it was a methamphetamine processing place, he’s smart enough to know that he needed more evidence to go on to the property."
Garton noted that misleading testimony "in court from persons in authority" directly undermine the integrity of the judicial system.