Crown to appeal grow op judgment

Crown lawyers will appeal a territorial court judgment that prevented some evidence collected on nine men allegedly involved in marijuana grow…

Crown lawyers will appeal a territorial court judgment that prevented some evidence collected on nine men allegedly involved in marijuana grow operations from being heard at trial.

“We’d like to have the court of appeal review some of the legal conclusions that Judge Karen Ruddy arrived at,” Crown lawyer Noel Sinclair said on Friday.

In April, Ruddy found the RCMP violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms several times during its investigation. She excluded evidence flowing from those breaches.

So during a May 2 trial, the Crown presented no evidence against four of the men who faced multiple charges of producing and possessing marijuana at five houses in Whitehorse.

The four men were acquitted, but the charges were not dropped.

The charges stem from Project Mobile, an investigation that ended with the RCMP charging nine men for possessing and producing marijuana following a series of busts in 2005 that closed six grow-operations and seized more than 4,500 pot plants.

Three of the nine men originally charged under the operation have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.

One is awaiting a hearing in Vancouver.

The ninth man, Zhi Jiang Xu, was never apprehended. A warrant is still out for his arrest.

Sinclair was not sure when the appeal will be heard. He expects it will take several months.