Tim Felger convicted of pot trafficking in second trial

Pot activist was charged with drug offences in Abbotsford in 2009

Pot activist Tim Felger is shown outside his former Da Kine store on Essendene Avenue in Abbotsford.

Pot activist Tim Felger is shown outside his former Da Kine store on Essendene Avenue in Abbotsford.

Pot activist Tim Felger has been convicted of two offences following his second trial for drug charges laid in Abbotsford in 2009.

Felger was sentenced Sept. 18 in B.C. Supreme Court on one charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of trafficking in marijuana.

Five other trafficking charges were stayed.

Felger was given credit for six months of jail time already served and will serve no further time. He has also been given a lifetime firearms ban.

His co-accused Natasha Healy was given an absolute discharge on one count of trafficking. This means that, although she was found guilty on that charge, she will receive no sentence and the offence will be removed from her criminal record after one year.

The charges were laid when Felger operated his former Da Kine store on Essendene Avenue in Abbotsford.

Felger and Healy were acquitted at their first trial in 2012. Felger’s lawyer successfully argued that undercover officers breached his client’s charter rights when they trespassed on the premises by ignoring posted signs that stated “no police officers allowed in the store without a warrant.”

Those officers had purchased marijuana inside the store on five separate days and also observed other people buying pot.

They then used that information to obtain a search warrant, which led to Felger’s arrest and charges in May 2009.

The first trial judge acquitted Felger and Healy, saying all the evidence had been collected illegally.

The Crown appealed that decision and won a new trial, with the three judges on the B.C. Court of Appeal in agreement that although the charter provides a “reasonable expectation of privacy” to individuals, the sign did not entitle Felger to those privacy rights.

They ruled that the police had not been intrusive and did not obtain any information that was not readily available to the public, and a new trial was granted.

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