Judge rejects Surrey RCMP search warrant in marijuana grow op case

Supreme Court found justice of the peace didn't have "sufficient credible and reliable evidence" to find electricity theft happened.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has found that a justice of the peace didn't have 'sufficient credible and reliable evidence' to find reasonable and probable grounds there was indeed a theft of electricity at a Surrey house police searched as part of a marijuana grow operation investigation.

NEW WESTMINSTER — A B.C. Supreme Court judge has found that a justice of the peace didn’t have “sufficient credible and reliable evidence” to find reasonable and probable grounds there was indeed a theft of electricity at a Surrey house police searched as part of a marijuana grow operation investigation.

Thi Thuy Hoang and Thanh-Phuong Le were charged with possession, possession for the purposes of trafficking and theft of electricity at a house in Newton, at 7069 150th St., which was owned by one of the accused’s parents. The accused successfully challenged the validity of the search warrant.

The case was heard in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, with Justice Elliot Myers revealing his decision last Thursday.

The court heard the Surrey RCMP’s request for a search warrant relied on an investigation by a B.C. Hydro investigator and an electrician who did a service check on the property in November 2012. The defence raised the issue that the power was measured at a service line in a junction box serving two residences, and this wasn’t disclosed in the RCMP’s information to obtain a search warrant.

Myers noted that a search warrant can be issued only if a justice of the peace concludes police have established reasonable and probable grounds a crime was committed and there is evidence to be found at the place police want to search. “The affidavit used to obtain the warrant must provide full and frank disclosure of material facts,” Myers noted. The police’s request, he found, did not provide proper disclosure.

“That would have required disclosure of the fact of the multiple outlets from the box and the method of determining which home the tested feed went to,” the judge said. Nevertheless, he added, this was not why he “set aside” the warrant.

Myers noted the B.C. Hydro employees agreed the service box had feed lines extending from it to more than one home, with one of them being the target. However, he found, “Their evidence was inconsistent with respect to how the correct line was identified.” The Crown argued the justice of the peace could have assumed the correct wire was tested because the two B.C. Hydro employees “had the expertise to do the test and therefore must have done it correctly.

“In the face of their contradictory evidence I do not agree,” Myers decided.

“There was not sufficient credible and reliable evidence to permit a justice of the peace to find reasonable and probable grounds that there was a theft of electricity at the target home.”


Just Posted

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 17-year-old girl located

Police say Rachel Friend was last seen at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, near the 14900-block of 81A Avenue

Three-team trade brings another goalie into Surrey Eagles’ nest

BCHL team ships Chase Stevenson to Trail and acquires blue-liner, goalie

McCallum promises taxes won’t rise in Surrey: ‘That’s set in stone’

Surrey mayor says free parking, a municipal force and other campaign promises won’t mean a tax hike

Salish Secondary to host first-ever toy drive for Cloverdale Christmas Hamper

Drive hopes to boost gift donations for hamper program, which provides food, gifts to families

Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

Although council gave its blessing to offer the free parking Monday (Nov. 19), it was already made free last week

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz were placed on administrative leave

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read