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Delay Too Long - Judge Stays Drug Charges

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Project Interfere's 29-Count Indictment Against 3 Local Men Is Shelved

Nearly four years after they were nabbed in an undercover drug operation, a Superior Court judge has stayed charges against three Sault Ste. Marie men.

Justice Larry Whalen ruled last week that the 43 months it had taken for the case to get to trial was too long a delay.

As a result, Darryl Bozowskyi, Ira Middaugh and Ron Middaugh's right, under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to be tried within a reasonable time had been violated.

The trio, arrested during Project Interfere, faced a 29-count indictment with charges that included trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of property obtained by crime and conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

Project Interfere, a six-month investigation in 2003 and 2004 that utilized a paid police informant, nabbed 15 people.

Police seized $220,000 in hash oil, ******* and other drugs, plus $32,000 in cash, after raiding five residences and a downtown bar.

Whalen made his ruling after hearing two weeks of pretrial motions and arguments from defence lawyers and the Crown.

He indicated written reasons for his decision would follow.

"Each of the accused testified and all had been on strict conditions for almost four years," lawyer Melanie Dunn, who assisted in preparation of the pretrial motions, said in an interview.

"Clearly, they paid a high financial price trying to get a fair trial."

The bulk of the legal arguments were made by Toronto lawyer Michael Lacey, who represented Ron Middaugh.

Source: Sault Star, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Sault Star
Contact: ssmstar@saultstar.com
Website: The Sault Star - Ontario, CA

Note: *Edit made for other drug reference*
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