An Abbotsford man facing more than 60 gun and drug charges has applied in court for the return of $60,000 in cash that was seized by police.
Corey Jim Perkins, 28, says he needs the money to pay for his defence as his charges proceed through the courts.
Perkins faces 59 charges alleging possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and weapons-related offences from December 2014.
He also faces another seven similar charges from April and May 2016.
Perkins was arrested and charged in May of last year after police executed 10 search warrants of cars and of a residence or residences connected to him.
At the time, police said they seized numerous guns, $60,000 in cash, and large quantities of drugs, including more than 1,000 pills containing fentanyl, which has been connected to numerous drug overdoses and deaths in B.C. over the last year.
Perkins has been in custody since his arrest on May 3.
The following month, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) referred the cash and three vehicles – a GMC truck, a Dodge Caravan and a Mazda – to the province’s director of civil forfeiture, which can begin legal proceedings to seize items believed to have come from the proceeds of illegal activity.
These proceedings can begin and end before an accused person has been convicted of a crime, but a judge must agree that the items should be turned over.
The items are usually sold, with the proceeds being used toward crime prevention grants and compensation to eligible victims.
All parties involved are to receive notice of the forfeiture plans, and can file a dispute.
In Perkins’ case, one of the vehicles was removed from the claim because it belonged to his mother, who had received notice of the plans.
Court documents indicate that Perkins had until Oct. 10 to file a dispute on the other items, but he didn’t do so, and the cash and the other two vehicles were deemed to have been forfeited.
The cash has not yet been turned over to civil forfeiture, and remains with the APD, according to the documents.
Perkins says he did not receive notice of the forfeiture proceedings – he has been in custody at the Surrey Pre-trial Centre since his arrest – and asked the courts to declare the forfeiture null and void.
He argues that the cash seized by the APD “exclusively” belongs to him.
The matter was first heard Nov. 28 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, where Perkins applied for the return of the money under the forfeiture section of the Criminal Code.
However, the judge did not make a decision on the matter, instead saying it should be dealt with by way of petition or notice of civil claim under the Civil Forfeiture Act.
Perkins then filed a civil court petition on Dec. 15, and the matter is now proceeding through the courts. The director of civil forfeiture has not yet filed a response.