Ontario Criminal


Defences


Officer did not go beyondproviding accused opportunity to commit offence

ENTRAPMENT

Accused charged with offering to transfer firearm while not being authorized to do so, contrary to s. 99(1)(b) of Criminal Code. Accused sold drugs to undercover officer. During transaction, accused stated that he could get officer handgun for $2,500. Ongoing drug discussions and transactions took place, interspersed with further discussions about transferring gun to officer. Accused argued that facts did not amount to offer, that offer was never serious, and that offer was so devoid of particulars that it did not amount to offer at all. Accused argued he was entrapped by officer. Accused found guilty. Court accepted accused’s evidence that he never had access to gun or had any intention to carry through with offer. No transaction ever took place, notwithstanding significant period of time and significant number of opportunities to deliver handgun. Accused’s evidence that he did not intend his offer to be taken seriously was rejected. Offers accused made to transfer gun to officer were to keep officer interested in him as his drug supplier. Court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that accused intended to make offer that would be taken as genuine offer by undercover officer, and that detail provided was sufficient to establish actus reus of offence. It was accused, not officer, who first raised issue of obtaining firearm for officer. Raising issue of how accused would come in from out of town and not be running afoul of pre-existing traffickers was natural part of discussions, and was not designed to entrap accused. Officer did not go beyond permissible bounds to follow up on accused’s offer to get gun. Officer’s increased contacts were not at level that went beyond natural part of necessary undercover narrative, and were not type of pressing and persistent contacts that supported finding of entrapment. Officer did not go beyond providing accused opportunity to commit offence.

R. v. Lewis

(Mar. 14, 2012, Ont. C.J., Bellefontaine J., File No. 2811-998-11-13175-02) 102 W.C.B. (2d) 272 (20 pp.).

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