UPDATE: Men facing extradition get new hearing

Supreme Court of Canada doesn’t give U.S. leave to appeal in pot smuggling case.

  • Sep. 22, 2017 4:45 p.m.

This article has been corrected from an earlier version.

In the wake of a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, three men facing possible extradition to the United States in connection with a pot smuggling case will still get a new hearing before the Supreme Court of B.C.

The men are being charged in the United States and the U.S. wants them to stand trial there.

The extradition revolves around the men’s alleged involvement – and that of several other men – in a 2006 scheme where hundreds of pounds of marijuana were shipped in hollowed-out logs from the Okanagan-Shuswap to California. The case depends heavily on wiretap evidence.

The extradition judge had ruled that the wiretaps had not breached the charter rights of the men and so granted the applications for extradition.

In March, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that the men should get a new hearing.

Shane Donald Fraser, Todd Ian Ferguson and Daniel James Joinson had argued in the Court of Appeal that their charter rights may have been breached and that further information was needed to determine the admissibility of the evidence.

The Court of Appeal judge granted their appeal and set aside the extradition, stating more information should be disclosed.

Hoping for a chance to get the BC Appeal Court’s ruling overturned, the U.S., represented by the Attorney General of Canada, went to the Supreme Court of Canada. Last week the highest court of Canada denied permission to the U.S. to appeal the BC Court of Appeal ruling. The new hearing for the men stands.

Court documents have described how, on at least nine occasions between March and September 2006, hollowed-out logs were imported into the U.S. by an American citizen who had been convinced to set up a log home business in Southern California that eventually became a front for the distribution of pot.

None of the log truck drivers were aware they were transporting marijuana into the United States, documents stated.

Deep Creek, Vernon, Kelowna and Armstrong were the Okanagan-Shuswap locations where the smuggling operation is alleged to have taken place.

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