Tristan Keith Gordon Jenkins, 27, and Micah Jair McClure, 40, appeared in the B.C. Provincial Court in Victoria on April 29, for a voir dire hearing.
Jenkins, dressed in a red jumpsuit with cuffs around his ankles, joked with his lawyers and with McClure, who was wearing jeans and a plaid shirt with shackles around his ankle as well, prior to the trial.
The pair were originally arrested in November 2017 by the Victoria Emergency Response Team and were subsequently charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking each.
Initially the pair appeared in court on March 29 to present Judge Lowe with the argument that unreasonable and excessive force was used in the defendants arrest back in 2017 and had breached their charter rights and freedoms.
Judge Lowe found that both arrests were lawful and did not breach Jenkins’ and McClure’s Charter rights.
Court previously heard that after disembarking a ferry from the Lower Mainland in November 2017, Jenkins and McClure got into a cab and began to make their way toward downtown. Jenkins had picked up drugs in Vancouver with the intention to sell them in Victoria. Police believed he might of had a firearm on him as it’s not unusual to take guns to drug pickups to prevent from being ripped off.
Six to eight surveillance vehicles were noted and began to follow the cab, eventually stopping at a gas station where police made the decision to act.
Four officers dressed in balaclavas circled the cab, two on either side and a fifth near the driver seat with instructions to remove the innocent driver immediately and arrest the two suspects.
Jenkins and McClure were seated in the back seat with a bag that was suspected to contain drugs in between them.
Police seized 250 grams of fentanyl and 100 grams of cocaine at the time of the arrest. It was noted the amount of fentanyl seized was enough to kill thousands of people.
This appearance marked the beginning of the trial and the court heard from four witnesses today, called by the Crown, all of which were officers involved in various stages of the arrest.
According to Const. Kyle Pistone of the Victoria Police Department and a member of the Crime Reduction Unit, a small scale located in the kitchen was seized along with a Magic Bullet style blender — both were found to have cocaine and fentanyl residue on them. A black shoulder bag, an empty safe and sandwich bags with and without the corners cut off were also seized in the search.
The trial was adjourned until July 2 and is expected to last four days.
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