Hamilton Canada Police Officer Arrested In Investigation That Yielded 57 Pounds Of Methamphetamine From 23 Homes And Businesses

April 16, 2011

HAMILTON, CANADA – A Hamilton police officer is among the 21 people arrested in what’s being described as the province’s largest-ever crystal meth bust.

Hamilton police put 26 kilograms of methamphetamine on display for the media at a Thursday morning news conference. They also seized steroids, cars, cash and other drugs.

The seizure was the result of raids at 23 homes and businesses by some 175 police officers in Hamilton, Niagara, Peel, Haldimand County and Sudbury. It came at the end of an 18-month investigation dubbed “Project Newton.”

The total value of the seizures — including $140,000 in cash — is estimated at $4 million. The 21 who were arrested face a total of 93 charges, including possession of the proceeds of crime, conspiracy to traffic anabolic steroids and trafficking cocaine and ketamine.

The investigation is ongoing and further charges are expected.

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Man Gets A Slap On The Wrist After Canadian Judge Shifts Blame To His Rape Victim

February 25, 2011

MANITOBA, CANADA – A Canadian judge whose controversial ruling and remarks in a sexual assault case sparked outrage is being investigated by the Canadian court system, a website statement said Friday.

Last week, Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar sentenced 40-year-old Kenneth Rhodes to a two year conditional sentence to be served at home for raping a 26-year-old woman.

That sentence, along with comments by Dewar which suggested that there was “sex in the air,” have led to several complaints from the victim and the public.

According to court records provided by CNN affiliate the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Rhodes met the victim and her friend at a bar before they drove out of town to a small lake on an isolated road in August 2006. The victim said Rhodes made several passes at her, and later that night, after she was intoxicated, he raped her.

“The victim was so afraid that she fled without pants through the woods,” prosecutor Sheila Seesahai told the court, adding that Rhodes took advantage of the much smaller victim.

Rhodes’ defense had a different story.

“It was a lapse of judgement on his part,” attorney Derek Coggan argued, according to court records.

The judge’s suggestion that the women’s choice of clothes and their behavior may have given the accused the wrong impression led many to believe he placed some of the blame for the attack on the victim.

Protesters upset with the judge’s ruling gathered outside the Law Courts in Winnipeg on Friday and shouted “no means no.”

Concerned about the dangerous precedent the ruling and remarks could set for future sexual assault cases, the protesters called for the judge to apologize to the victim and all Manitobans.

The court issued a statement on behalf of Dewar saying it was “inappropriate to comment further at this time” because the case could still be appealed.

The Canadian Judicial Council on Friday indicated its intent to review complaints against Dewar. A statement on the council’s website said the it “works to foster ongoing public confidence in the judiciary.”

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102,000 Bogus Edmonton Canada Police Speed Camera Tickets Worth $12.3 Million To Be Refunded To Scammed Motorists

January 26, 2011

EDMONTON, CANADA – Unable to verify the accuracy of certain speed camera readings, the government of Alberta, Canada announced Monday that it would issue full refunds to motorists. Doubt surrounds speeding citations issued from any of the forty-seven red light camera intersections in the city of Edmonton under a program known as “speed on green.” The refunds cover automated tickets mailed between November 2009 and January 14, 2011.

“This is the right action to take,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General Alison Redford said in a statement. “Our first concern is the fair administration of justice, and we cannot proceed with legal action when there is doubt about the accuracy of the city’s speed on green ticket technology.”

Edmonton Police Service officials have not disclosed the precise cause of inaccurate speed readings, but they admitted the automated ticketing machines generated at least twenty-six bogus readings. The problem was discovered when prosecutors examined a ticket claiming a vehicle was traveling at 143km/h (89 MPH) on Yellowhead Trail — along with every other vehicle on the road.

Although 141,729 tickets worth about $17 million were generated, only 102,700 worth $12.3 million have been paid. The profit is split between the city, the for-profit vendor, and the province which takes about 17 percent.

Despite the significant pricetag of paying back the fines, the Edmonton incident is far from the largest photo ticketing refund on record. In July 2003, a speed camera in Victoria, Australia accused motorist Vanessa Bridges’ 1975 Datsun 120Y of driving at 98 MPH, setting off a chain reaction of events that ultimately cost the state government A$26 million in refunds. Even after the thirty-year-old Datsun was tested and found to be capable of reaching speeds no greater than 73 MPH, police dug in their heels and insisted the photo enforcement system was accurate and that Bridges’ fine would stand. Intense publicity arising out of her case, however, forced an investigation into the cameras on the Western Ring Road. Independent testing showed faulty in-ground sensors and electromagnetic interference had been responsible for generating bogus speed readings. The government had no choice but to cancel 165,000 camera tickets.

Last year, police in Victoria, Australia admitted accuracy problems had surfaced again on the Hume Highway as the clocks used by average-speed cameras became unsynchronized. So far, officials have refused to provide refunds while a formal review is conducted. A report on the incident is expected within a week.

Alberta, Canada Cancels 141,729 Photo Tickets

Canadian Police Charge Homeowner Who Attacked Burglar With Hatchet – 5 Months After Incident

October 27, 2010

TABER, CANADA – A Taber farmer who smashed a suspected burglar in the face with a hatchet is facing assault charges.

On May 29, a couple arrived at their home northwest of Taber to discover an unfamiliar vehicle parked in the driveway. The 46-year-old homeowner parked behind the vehicle, trapping it, while he fetched a hatchet, RCMP said.

The man searched the house and found no one inside but soon encountered a man in his 20s trying to escape in the blocked car.

Police said the homeowner struck the man twice with the blunt end of a hatchet, smashing his teeth and face.

The injured suspect ran off but police tracked him down to his home.

Police arrested two other men on a road near the house. All three were charged with breaking and entering.

Now, five months later, police have charged the homeowner with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

“Under the Criminal Code, people can use degrees of force when protecting property or a person, but there are limitations, especially if the courts determine it to be excessive force,” said Sgt. Patrick Webb.

Joseph Bradley Singleton, 46, is charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.

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Morinville Canada Prosecutor Karen Thorsrud Not Satisfied After Trial And Surveillance Video Clears Teacher Of Bogus Sex Abuse Charges

September 26, 2010

MORINVILLE, CANADA – A Morinville, Alta., teacher on trial for sexual assault has been found not guilty of all charges.

Michael Dubas, 55, faced two charges each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation involving two female students at G.H. Primeau School in the town about 30 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

In delivering his decision in St. Albert provincial court Friday afternoon, Judge Brian Fraser said he believed Dubas when he denied touching the girls.

“In my opinion, Mr. Dubas, you have suffered a tremendous injustice,” the judge said.

The courtroom was filled with family members who wept and hugged Dubas afterward.

“I’m very, very, very happy to be clear of all these charges and just like to have my life back,” Dubas told reporters outside the courthouse.

He said he doesn’t know if he will return to teaching. Dubas was suspended from his teaching position at the middle school last year, pending the outcome of the court case.

“He’s gone through living hell. For a teacher, this is living hell to go through 11 months of this,” his lawyer, Brian Vail said. He called the video surveillance tape a “gift from God.”

Girls’ testimony not reliable, judge rules

The girls, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, alleged Dubas groped them in two separate incidents in February and October of 2009.

Fraser said the testimony of one of the girls was unreliable and pointed to a surveillance video showing the hallway at the time she said she was groped.

The video showed no evidence the attack occurred, the judge said.

The judge also found the actions of the other complainant did not fit with someone who had been molested. The girl told no one of the incident for a long time and made no attempt to avoid Dubas for the rest of that school year and the year after that.

Crown prosecutor Karen Thorsrud said she believed the girls were telling the truth.

“The judge made a finding that he disbelieved the complainants in this case but that is not evidence they were, in fact, lying,” she said. “And I can tell you that if I had thought they were lying, I would have never put them on the stand.”

The Crown has 30 days to determine whether they will appeal the judge’s decision, Thorsrud said.

During the trial, students who were witnesses for the defence testified they overheard the girls talking about a plan to lie about how Dubas touched them in order to get him fired.

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Peel Canada Regional Police Charge Man With Practicing Witchcraft

September 15, 2010

PEEL REGION, CANADA – Peel Regional Police have charged a Brampton man with fraud for pretending to practice witchcraft.

Investigators allege the suspect was taking money for witchcraft-related services at his home.

Police say the kinds of services the suspect offered are not being released due to the investigation.

It’s believed the services had been offered for well over a year, and police are asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Yogendra Pathak, 44, has been charged with fraud under $5,000 and pretending to practice witchcraft.

He is due in court Oct 7.

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Canadian RCMP Officer Chris Christinger Receives A Slap On The Wrist After Driving Drunk And Giving Alcohol To A Minor – After Posting Photos On Facebook

September 14, 2010

VANCOUVER, CANADA – Rookie RCMP Const. Chris Christinger has been docked 10 days’ pay after a day of partying at the Bella Coola Rodeo that included drinking before his shift, sneaking an 18-year-old girl into a beer garden and driving a police truck while under the influence of alcohol.

But Christinger’s biggest mistake may have been to take photos of his partying, some of which ended up on Facebook, where they were available for the general public, and his RCMP bosses, to see.

Christinger appeared before an RCMP disciplinary board earlier this year.

According to their decision, obtained by The Vancouver Sun, Christinger, an officer in Alexis Creek, was sent to Bella Coola to help police the community’s annual rodeo.

Christinger arrived in Bella Coola several hours before his 4:30 p.m. shift began.

So he went to the rodeo grounds, where he drank four bottles of Smirnoff Ice before heading back to his hotel, getting changed into his RCMP uniform and driving to the Bella Coola detachment.

Around 7 p.m., a senior officer, Cpl. Wallace, went to a roadblock where Christinger was stationed after receiving a complaint that Christinger had been seen drinking earlier in the day.

Christinger admitted to Wallace he had some drinks and gave a breath sample, which came back as 0.014, below the legal limit of 0.08.

Wallace told him to go home and not report for work until the next day. Christinger, however, wasn’t done partying.

Around 9 p.m., while still in uniform, he drove to the home of A.J., an 18-year-old he had met earlier in the day.

Christinger encouraged A.J. and her friends to jump on his police truck for photos, telling one, according to the decision, to “cover the licence plate so that they can’t trace it to me.”

In one of the photos, four women are shown holding beer, including one girl, identified as S.K., who was under 19.

Three of the photos taken by Christinger were later posted on Facebook where they were “publicly accessible.”

After partying at A.J.’s place for about an hour, Christinger returned to his hotel, changed out of his uniform and headed back to the rodeo with A.J.

There, the two went to the beer garden, where he “coached A.J. as to what to say to the security guards at the entrance.

“[He] also informed the security guards that he was a police officer and he would vouch for A.J. being of legal age.”

Once in the beer garden, Christinger met up again with A.J.’s friend, S.K., who he bought a drink for even though he “ought to have known [she] was a minor.”

The board hearing Christinger’s case, made up of three senior Mounties, found Christinger exhibited “disgraceful conduct.”

However, they noted he admitted his misconduct and was inexperienced, with only eight months on the job at the time of the incident.

RCMP spokeswoman Const. Annie Linteau noted that, under the RCMP Act, 10 days’ lost pay is the maximum financial penalty an officer can receive short of being fired.

“So, obviously the board took it quite seriously,” she said.

Christinger, who now works for the RCMP in Prince George, could not be reached for comment.

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