It’s fairly common to hear or read a new story in the media about somebody being charged for possession for the purpose of trafficking (P4P) drugs, especially if they were particularly creative in how they tried to get away with it.
Recently, an Ottawa man was stopped at the Canada-U.S. border trying to come back to Canada with drugs and a weapon. In Cape Breton, police searched vehicles and homes and charged a number of people with possession for the purpose of trafficking.
But you may say to yourself, well, these people had drugs and how were the police so sure that they were being trafficked? The answer is that, depending on the drug (controlled substance) in one’s possession, there’s a threshold for possessing a certain amount of that drug that will trigger a possession for the purpose of trafficking charge. It doesn’t matter if you did intend to sell the drugs or not. Just having a certain amount is all the police need.
How Much Is Too Much?
It depends on the drug and how much you have in your possession. If you have 10 grams of crack cocaine, you might get a P4P charge. On the other hand, 30 grams or more of marijuana will trigger the same charge. Why are there different thresholds? It really depends on the drug’s perceived harm to society and also how much more money you can make in its distribution. Plus, the more harmful the drug is perceived to be, the harsher the penalty will be. And larger quantities of the drug in your possession will typically lead to harsher penalties, too.
How Will the Police Know I Have Drugs, Anyhow?
As the news articles mentioned earlier can attest, police will usually discover the drugs in your possession while carrying out regular duties like routine traffic stops and border crossing interviews.
Usually, this offense arises as a result of another valid investigation, as these articles also mention. In another example, police might also find drugs in your home if they are called to investigate a domestic dispute. If the drugs are in plain sight while people are investigating the domestic dispute, then they can charge you with P4P if there’s enough of the substance in your home.
Other times, police may find the drugs at a suspected drug trafficker’s home, in which they have a search warrant to investigate the premises. In this example, the trafficker is not caught in the act of selling the drugs, but police will find them hidden somewhere in the home. The drugs or substance will be seized, weighed and tested to find out if it’s a scheduled substance or illegal drug.
Police will also search and seize other items that may indicate you are trafficking drugs – other than the drugs themselves. Including items such as weighing scales, bags, debt lists, quantities of cash and other substances used to dilute drugs or make more of them. Weapons may also be seized as evidence pointing to trafficking behaviour in the home as well.
For More Information
Click link for detailed overview about Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
If you’ve been charged with a P4P offence, contact Armoured Suits by phone at 613-233-0008 or e-mail at [email protected] for a free 30-minute confidential consultation.