Feds drop drug charges

No explanation given for decision in Terrace, BC case

A TWO-YEAR old drug case was dropped abruptly last week.

Ellen New, who had been charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one charge of possession, had her charges stayed by a federal prosecutor, who doesn’t have to give a reason as to why he would not follow through to trial.

Defence lawyer Suzette Narbonne did not know why the charges were dropped.

I don’t have a clue why. They send me a letter telling me it’s been stayed. They’re not obligated to tell me why,” she said about why prosecutor Harold Alkema stayed the charges.

On July 17, 2010, officers seized cash and what they described as cocaine when two search warrants were executed at the same time on Pine Ave. by Terrace RCMP, the North District General Investigation Section and the North District Emergency Response Team, reported police at that time.

Two women were arrested in one residence and another woman in the other residence, said police.

Ellen Lizette New was charged for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and released by a justice of the peace on conditions, said police.

Charges for possession for the purpose of trafficking were being forwarded to the prosecutors against the other two women arrested.

One was never charged.

The other, Jacquelyn Stelmacker, had her charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking stayed by the court in September this year.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada, (PPSC) who represents federal prosecutors and can speak for them, wouldn’t comment on why the charges were dropped.

The federal prosecution service’s Department of Justice Canada desk book Chap. 15 says Crown counsel must consider two issues when deciding whether to prosecute.

First, is the evidence sufficient to justify the institution or continuation of proceedings?

Second, if it is, does the public interest require a prosecution to be pursued?

These two questions must be applied throughout the proceedings – from the time the investigative report is first received until the time of trial, continues the desk book.

It is not the rule that all offences for which there is sufficient evidence must be prosecuted, according to the desk book.

Generally, the more serious the offence, the more likely the public interest will require that a prosecution be pursued, it explains.

The proper decision in many cases will be to proceed with a prosecution if there is sufficient evidence available to justify a prosecution, the desk book said.

A stay of proceedings is like a suspension, where charges can be brought back within a period of one year.

While proceedings are stayed, the charges are still technically in place and the matter continues to be considered before a court.


Just Posted

Most Highway 16 closures for avalanches in years after multiple dumps of snow

Highway 16 has had four closures between Terrace and Prince Rupert due to 35 mile avalanche area

Terrace RCMP arrest Kitimat man for drug trafficking

A police investigation has led to the arrest of a Kitimat man… Continue reading

Terrace Fire Department announces new training program, increased calls in year-end report

All firefighters in Terrace are expected to complete training by the end of April 2018.

UPDATE: Prince Rupert woman killed in logging truck collision

Empty logging truck west of Terrace struck moose before colliding with the eastbound SUV

David Edwardsen sentenced to eight years in jail

Sentencing result of 14 drug and firearms convictions

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Langley enjoys home ice while roller coast ride continues for Chilliwack Chiefs

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling from B.C. court

B.C. Supreme Court decided to end the practice of solitary confinement in Canadian prisons

Hedley withdraws from Junos, plans to discuss ‘how we have let some people down’

Hedley was dropped by their label last week after sexual misconduct accusations

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: B.C. takes home gold in two-man bobsleigh

Women’s hockey team beats Russia 5-0, Comox skier takes home best qualifying score

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

Most Read