Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court
OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says an unsubstantiated tip that someone is dealing drugs from a phone number doesn't amount to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
In a pair of related rulings today, the high court says police must take sufficient steps to verify such tips to avoid entrapping suspects.
In each case, Toronto police were acting on tips to investigate alleged dial-a-dope schemes, where a buyer calls a seller and arranges to purchase drugs at an agreed location.
Javid Ahmad and Landon Williams were charged with drug offences after police officers purchased cocaine from each man in the respective probes.
At their trials, the men argued for stays of the drug-related proceedings on the basis of police entrapment, but only Williams was successful.
Based on the specifics of each case, the Supreme Court upheld Ahmad's conviction and reinstated the stay of proceedings for Williams.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2020.