Delays end drug case

AFTER A four year journey through the courts, a grow-op case will not go to trial due to the long delay.

  • Mar. 9, 2011 7:00 p.m.

AFTER A four year journey through the courts, a grow-op case will not go to trial due to the long delay.

Charles and Sheila Thomas had charges of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, production of marijuana, unsafe storage of firearms and possession of a restricted firearm stayed Feb. 25 at the request of their lawyer.

On Jan. 27, 2007, a search warrant executed at a residence on Archer Ave. led to the seizure of 2,500 grams of marijuana packaged for distribution, 4.5 grams of hashish, $1,300 in Canadian money, about $50,000 in gold, and seven unregistered firearms, including a .38 calibre handgun, said Terrace RCMP at that time. A grow-op with 72 plants was found in a maintenance shop on the same property, police said.

The Thomases first appeared in court in April 2007. After a couple more court dates, a preliminary inquiry was set for February 2008.

In May 2008, the case was transferred to supreme court. A trial date was set for April 2010; however, the trial did not happen and a date was set to confirm a later trial date.

A Nov. 2010 pre-trial conference was held and a date set to decide when to have a trial.

February 24, 2011 was set for another pre-trial conference and a trial date was set for March 5, 2011. However, the application to stay the charges took place on Feb. 24 instead and was granted.

The argument for the stay of proceedings came from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 11 b, which states that “Any person charged with an offence has the right… to be tried within a reasonable time.”

Then under section 24: “Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.”