B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Man loses his appeal of pot production, possession for trafficking convictions

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has upheld a Surrey judge’s conviction of Viet Khanh Le

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has upheld a Surrey judge’s conviction of Viet Khanh Le, who appealed two convictions of unlawful production and possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana related to a grow op bust on Jan. 27, 2015.

The main issue in the trial, heard in Surrey provincial court in 2018, was the legality of the search. While the trial judge found enough deficiencies in evidence supporting the search to render it invalid and result in Le’s rights being violated under Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he nevertheless found that admitting the evidence against Le wouldn’t bring the administration of justice into disrepute and convicted Le of the charges.

Le’s lawyer argued on appeal that the evidence ought to have been excluded and that the Crown failed to lead evidence concerning critical elements of the case.

READ ALSO: Judge rejects Surrey RCMP search warrant in marijuana grow op case

The case centred on a 2014 RCMP investigation into a suspected marijuana grow operation on a seven-acre farm in the Township of Langley, close to the border crossing in Aldergrove.

Le held a licence to grow up to 190 plants under the Marihauna Medical Access Regulations while three associates held licences to grow 190, 219 and 390 plants. All together they were also allowed to store roughly 100 pounds of dried pot for personal use.

The court heard that the police found a barn contained 15,305 plants, much more than the 989 allowed, and 1,613 seedlings or clones in a bedroom inside a modular home Le was living in.

“Mr. Le admitted that the marijuana belonged to him, and that he was selling it,” Chief Justice Robert Bauman noted in his appeal court reasons for judgment, with which Justices Harvey Groberman and Gregory James Fitch agreed.

“The judge erred in finding the search warrant to be invalid. Nonetheless, he ultimately decided not to exclude the critical evidence found in the search, so his error was harmless,” Bauman found. However, he added, “because no inadmissible evidence was relied upon by the judge, no reversible error occurred. In the result, I would dismiss the appeal.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

BC Supreme CourtSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Labour Minister Harry Bains addressing Surrey Board of Trade digital meeting Friday. (Screen shot)
Labour Minister says Surrey businesses’ resilience through pandemic ‘impressive’

‘Surrey’s effort in bending the curve has been among the best,’ Harry Bains says

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Students, volunteers remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

Day-long project a collaboration between city, Lower Mainland Green Team

Raj Singh Toor (left) with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea after an official apology for the treatment of Komagata Maru passengers in 1914. (Contributed photo)
Request made for City of White Rock to honour Komagata Maru passengers

Raj Singh Toor confident city will rename ‘street, park or city asset’ in honour of 1914 tragedy

Cloverdale robbery suspect. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Man charged in relation to four separate robberies in Cloverdale

Jake Eric Henderson allegedly committed four gas station robberies in January

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read