Christopher Nicholson in an undated photo.

Christopher Nicholson in an undated photo.

Officer in Abbotsford set up drug deal at target’s home, says OPCC report

Office of Police Complaint Commissioner says information was used to obtain search warrant

An Abbotsford Police officer convicted of breach of trust in 2017 arranged for drugs to be trafficked at a target’s home in order to include that information in an application for a search warrant, according to a report released Tuesday (Dec. 8).

The annual report of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) includes details about the criminal investigation into Christopher Nicholson.

The case initially resulted in the OPCC saying it was investigating 17 other officers for 148 allegations of misconduct linked to Nicholson’s case. The number was later reduced to four officers and 15 allegations.

The OPCC annual report – which lists “substantiated allegations” concluded by the agency from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 – lists Nicholson’s investigation as a case study titled “Abuse of police enforcement powers and the use of confidential informants.”

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) announced in 2013 that Nicholson had been charged with six counts of obstructing justice, three counts of breach of trust and one count of unsafe storage of a firearm.

He pleaded guilty to just one breach of trust charge in late 2017, and was sentenced the following year to a 17-month conditional sentence (served in the community). The remaining charges were stayed.

RELATED: No jail time for Abbotsford cop in breach-of-trust case

RELATED: 11 Abbotsford Police officers no longer part of OPCC investigation into misconduct

The OPCC’s role is in addition to any criminal repercussions involving municipal police departments.

The agency looks for infractions under the Police Act; officers deemed to have committed wrongdoing face disciplinary measures ranging from a written reprimand to a suspension or firing.

The annual report says the criminal investigation into Nicholson was launched based on “concerns with the integrity of statements sworn or affirmed before judicial officers in which authorizations for search warrants were obtained.”

The report states that Nicholson committed two counts of corrupt practice under the Police Act “for facilitating the trafficking of a controlled substance to a target residence through a confidential source in order to include this interaction in an Information to Obtain (ITO) so a search warrant could be obtained.”

In addition, two search warrants executed at Nicholson’s home following his arrest turned up three loaded firearms in a safe, the report indicates.

The OPCC report states that he was also seen speeding excessively and “committing other driving infractions” while under surveillance by police.

An OPCC hearing into Nicholson’s behaviour was delayed due to court battles involving the protection of confidential informants listed as part of the investigation, but it eventually went ahead in the time period covered in the annual report.

Nicholson was fired from his role as a police officer for four violations under the Police Act: discreditable conduct, corrupt practice, public trust offence and improper use or care of firearms.

In arriving at his decision, OPCC chief officer Dave Jones said Nicholson’s behaviour had “a negative effect on the APD, the criminal justice system and the public confidence.”

Jones said that not only were the allegations serious, but they went “to the very heart of the need for public trust and the support that the police need to maintain when they are entrusted with unique powers and authorities.”

The OPCC report indicates that 42 complaints were registered involving the APD in 2019/20 and nine investigations were ordered.

ALSO READ: Abbotsford Police officer exchanged ‘inappropriate messages,’ says report



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cops and CourtsPolice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Nakota Hinksman had been reported missing in Abbotsford, but has since been located.
UPDATE: Missing teen with autism has been located in Abbotsford

Nakota Hinksman, 18, had been missing since 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday

NHL Central Scouting has ranked three Abbotsford hockey talents as likely to be drafted in 2021. (Twitter photo)
Trio of Abbotsford hockey talents placed on NHL watch list

Abbotsford’s Chiasson, Milne and Sward all ranked as C grade prospects for 2021 NHL draft

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read