Accused drug dealer argues his Charter rights were breached by police in Kamloops

If B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley rules the arrest was unconstitutional, the evidence against Lyndon Cahoose will be thrown out

An accused drug dealer is challenging his arrest, arguing members of an RCMP task force based in the Lower Mainland had no right to detain him following a traffic stop in downtown Kamloops more than two years ago.

Lyndon Cahoose, 24, is facing two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

article continues below

Cahoose was riding shotgun in a car when it was pulled over on West Victoria Street on Nov. 15, 2017. The traffic stop was initiated because the vehicle failed to display its ‘L’ learner’s decal.

The vehicle’s three occupants were placed under arrest when an officer approaching the car said he smelled marijuana. Its occupants were told to sit outside the vehicle. 

Another officer then saw Cahoose removing small baggies of drugs from his pants and hiding them in mulch, court heard. The bags’ contents were later found to contain fentanyl.

No marijuana was found in the vehicle, but RCMP Cpl. Stewart Masi testified on in Kamloops Law Courts on Wednesday that he was following his nose.

“I said, ‘Everybody’s under arrest,’” the corporal said. “I immediately smelled fresh marijuana coming from the vehicle. It was strong. To me there was no question of what I was smelling coming from that car.”

Police did find a marijuana pipe with some residue in the vehicle, but no cannabis.

Defence lawyer Sheldon Tate is challenging the validity of Cahoose’s arrest, arguing his client’s Charter rights — protecting him from unreasonable seizure and arbitrary detention — were breached by police.

“How do you know that the smell didn’t come from down the street?” Tate asked.

“My experience in vehicle stops and in these types of situations, I had no other smell approaching the vehicle, I had no other smell getting out of my vehicle and I had no odour until I arrived at the door of that vehicle,” Masi said. “I have no doubt in my mind that it was coming from that car.”

If B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley rules the arrest was unconstitutional, the evidence against Cahoose will be thrown out.

Masi is a member of the RCMP’s combined forces special enforcement unit, which he said was conducting “proactive patrols” in Kamloops at the time of Cahoose’s arrest.

© Kamloops This Week

 


KTW Daily News Alerts
KAMLOOPS WEATHER

Question of the Week POLL

Amid the pandemic, what are your summer plans?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar

Help Us Help Kamloops. Support Local Media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kamloops This Week is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time .

NEW: For every donation of $25 or greater, we will offer a digital advertising package to the local non-profit group of your choice.

Click on https://support.kamloopsthisweek.com for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.