An expert witness in marijuana grow operations was scheduled to testify at the judge-and-jury trial of Kevin Black on Friday.

RCMP Insp. Marlene Snowman is qualified to give expert-opinion evidence in the production of marijuana and regarding the pricing, packaging, drug jargon, terminology and methodology in the sale of illicit substances.

When the trial resumes tomorrow, Sgt. Steven Gordeau will take the stand to provide expert-opinion testimony in the code words and jargon heard in intercepted calls played to the jury.

Black, represented by lawyer Randall Maillet, has pled not guilty to two charges of conspiracy to produce and conspiracy to traffic in marijuana.

The charges stem from Operation Jackpot, an 18-month joint police force investigation that culminated in a takedown on April 19, 2005. On that date, dozens of people were arrested and 14 marijuana grow operations were dismantled.

Federal prosecutors Christian Libotte and Monica Johnson are expected to complete the Crown's case at the end of Gordeau's testimony.

Several RCMP officers and Miramichi Police Force members testified Thursday about evidence seized at a number of residences on April 19, 2005.

Justice Stephen McNally is presiding over the jury trial that began May 12. The 11-member jury is composed of five women and six men. Normally a jury comprises 12 people, but the 12th juror was excused just before the trial got underway.

Source: Miramichi Leader (CN NK)
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