B.C. man found guilty in seven-year-old drug case

MAN TO RE­TURN TO COURT LATER IN MONTH TO SET SEN­TENC­ING DATE

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Delon Shurtz LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

AB.C. man who sold co­caine to a Leth­bridge un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cer nearly seven years ago will have to wait a few more weeks be­fore he knows how much time he’ll have to spend in jail.

Fol­low­ing a one-day trial in Leth­bridge Court of Queen’s Bench, Madam Jus­tice Michele H. Hollins found Henri Philip guilty Wed­nes­day of traf­fick­ing co­caine to the of­fi­cer in 2011. Sen­tenc­ing has been ad­journed, how­ever, to give the Crown and de­fence time to pre­pare their sub­mis­sions, and the mat­ter will re­turn to court Oct. 22 to set a date, pos­si­bly in the new year, to sen­tence Philip.

On Dec. 21, 2011 po­lice in­volved in an un­re­lated drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion seized a cell­phone, on which they un­ex­pect­edly re­ceived a call from a drug dealer. Of­fi­cers set up an un­der­cover drug trans­ac­tion and met Philip in the park­ing lot of an apart­ment com­plex where they made a deal to buy 9.5 grams of co­caine for $900.

Po­lice di­rected Philip to sit in the rear pas­sen­ger seat of the truck in which they ar­rived, then pro­duced the cash. Philip handed over the drugs, and was im­me­di­ately ar­rested by an­other of­fi­cer wait­ing nearby.

Leth­bridge lawyer Wade Hlady sug­gested po­lice could not pos­i­tively iden­tify Philip as the drug dealer and that their mem­o­ries could not be re­li­able af­ter seven years. He also said cor­rect iden­ti­fi­ca­tion would have been dif­fi­cult be­cause it was dark out­side and the park­ing lot was poorly lit.

But Jus­tice Hollins said she be­lieves the three of­fi­cers in­volved in the sting did, through first-hand ob­ser­va­tion, iden­tify the ac­cused be­yond rea­son­able doubt, as did the B.C. driver’s li­cence, with photo and ad­dress, that Philip pos­sessed when he was ar­rested.

Philip, who is in cus­tody on other charges, con­sented to his re­mand pend­ing his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing. Hlady also pointed out the ad­journ­ment will give him time to look into im­mi­gra­tion is­sues fac­ing his client.

Fol­low @DelonHer­ald on Twit­ter

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