Criminawasl Law: Entrapment

R. v. Li2020 SCC 12 (38903) Appeal heard by video-conference 06/11/20, and the Court on that day delivered the following judgment orally:

Martin J.:  “Mr. Li pled guilty at trial, the trial judge entered a stay of proceedings based on entrapment, and the Court of Appeal lifted the stay and remitted the matter for sentencing. In this case, Mr. Li has a right of appeal to this Court under s. 691(2) (b) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46. The phrase “enters a verdict of guilty” includes making an order that sets aside a permanent stay where that order is tantamount to entering a verdict of guilty, thus securing the purpose of this provision, which is to ensure that an accused person has one level of appeal to raise a question of law arising from their conviction (see R. v. Magoon, 2018 SCC 14, [2018] 1 S.C.R. 309, at para. 38).  We recognize that neither level of court in this appeal had the benefit of this Court’s reasons in R. v. Ahmad, 2020 SCC 11. As explained in Ahmad, when investigating a suspected dial-a-dope operation, the police must have reasonable suspicion over the individual or over the phone number or over a combination of both, before they can ask to purchase drugs from the person answering the phone. Applying this framework and considering the totality of the circumstances, the police had reasonable suspicion, before making the call, that the phone number was being used for drug dealing. The police used a Swan sheet to record what actions they took to verify this tip. The tip was that a specific phone number was being used in a dial-a-dope operation to sell cocaine, the sales took place near a particular mall, and involved a tan Honda Odyssey with a specific licence plate. In addition to the phone number, the tip provided details such as which drug was for sale, the area of operation, a vehicle description, and licence plate number. The police confirmed the assertion of illegality by connecting this car and licence plate, and five other vehicles, to a person with an extensive and recent history of suspected dial-a-dope drug dealings. Therefore, there was no entrapment. As a result, we dismiss the appeal, enter a verdict of guilty, and remit the matter for sentencing.”