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Police need sufficient evidence to link someone to heroin package

Though the Canada Border Services Agency discovered a backpack with 11 packages of heroin in it nearly one month ago, it seems the Peel Regional Police are still looking for a suspect. Even if they manage to find a suspect, to actually arrest an individual and make a case requires considerable evidence. Even more is necessary to support a conviction.

If the Crown cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual trafficked the heroin into the country, a defendant cannot be convicted. This is incredibly important, as heroin trafficking (and trafficking of any Schedule I drug) is incredibly serious. If convicted, an individual could be sentenced to life imprisonment. So, the evidentiary requirements really serve to protect defendants from being wrongfully convicted and punished.

According to a story by the Brampton Guardian, customs officials randomly selected the backpack for further investigation. It was then that a detector dog sniffed the bag and indicated the presence of drugs. After opening the bag, officers found 11 wrapped packages that later tested positive for heroin.

This is certainly not the first package of heroin that officers with the Canada Border Services Agency have discovered. In 2013, Canada Border Services Agency officers seized approximately 160 kg of heroin, up from 116 kg in 2012. It is not entirely clear how much heroin has been seized by officials yet this year.

While it is law enforcement's responsibility to stop the traffic of heroin into the country, it is important that officers and the Crown do not rush to blame individuals for drug trafficking until there is sufficient evidence of their guilt.

Source: Brampton Guardian, "Police search for heroin trafficker after seizure at Pearson," Louie Rosella, April 16, 2014

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