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Police officer says he was just following orders

Not many people are more aware of the consequences of marijuana trafficking in Ontario than a Peel Regional Police officer. He or she would know that possession for the purposes of trafficking could lead to jail time, heavy fines and, a criminal record that can wreak havoc on a career and life in general. So, why would a police officer be involved with drug trafficking? For a 47-year-old constable who was convicted of theft and unlawful possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana, the unlawful attempt to possess an illegal substance for the purpose of trafficking, and breach of trust, he has said that he wasn't involved, he was simply following orders.

The officer said that he had been told by others within the police department to take bricks of fake cocaine to his home. What he was supposed to do with them is not entirely clear, but the court did not buy his defence. He was sentenced in 2010 to five years and eight months. He is currently trying to appeal his conviction.

Though he remains an employee of the police department until he completes the appeals process, who knows if he will be able to clear his name.

One of the greatest responsibilities criminal defence lawyers have is to craft a well-tailored argument as to why an individual is not guilty. For this officer, it will likely come to whether he or she has a lawyer who can help on appeal.

As for now, many of the cases that this officer worked on were not prosecuted, as per the decision of the Crown.

Source: The Toronto Star, "Perjury charge against Peel police officer is dropped," Louie Rosella, Feb. 18, 2014

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