Judge rejects application to have Kelowna drug trial thrown out

The trial for two men charged in a major Kelowna drug bust will go ahead as planned.

Sheldon Durno Harris and Tyson Nicholas Still are each charged with five counts of possessing illegal drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

In October 2014, police raided Harris’ Crawford Road home, seizing heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and hashish that RCMP said had a street value of more than $600,000.

Officers also seized almost $19,000, about 500 rounds of ammunition, body armour and six vehicles.

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The trial began with an application by Harris to have his charges tossed out because of unreasonable delay.

The application is based on last summer’s Jordan decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that ruled trials in provincial superior courts should be heard within 30 months.

On Tuesday, the judge denied Harris’ request to have his case thrown out.

“The legal burden on an accused person is to establish on a balance of probabilities that there has been a breach of their Charter rights,” said Madam Justice Victoria Gray. “Mr. Harris has not demonstrated he was not tried in a reasonable period of time. As a result, I dismiss his application.”

But the defence lawyer has another legal argument up his sleeve.  He’s accusing a Mountie who was secretly surveilling Harris’ home of standing on the property when the officer made his observations of people allegedly packaging drugs.

That would be an illegal trespass, which would invalidate the search warrant, which would probably lead to the charges being stayed. The police officer denies he was trespassing.

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