Suspected Outlaw Motorcycle club member loses appeal

Decision clears way to present evidence at trafficking trial

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL -After a failed appeal, a suspected member of the Outlaws Motorcycle gang will be back in Grand Falls-Windsor Supreme Court in March.

The appeal claimed RCMP officers illegally searched Marcus Ellis’s vehicle as he was leaving a Halloween party at the Outlaw’s clubhouse in October 2014.

Court documents noted that during the stop “green colored flakes believed to be marijuana were observed on the center console of the vehicle.”

Following a discussion with the suspect, officers found a bag of marijuana on the floor of the vehicle.

At this point, Ellis was taken into custody.

According to court documents, a subsequent search resulted in the seizure of a controlled drug known as molly, plus additional marijuana, cash, a smoking pipe and baggies.

As a result, the applicant was charged with possessing marijuana and the street drug molly (n- ethyl-3-4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) for the purpose of trafficking (separate counts) and breaching a recognizance.

Ellis, however, disputed the legality of the search, and on Oct. 13, 2016, filed an application alleging breaches of sections 8, 9 and 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

He claimed officers used section 201.1 of the Highway Traffic Act — which permits the police to stop a motor vehicle for certain purposes — as a tool to discover the identity of party goers.

RCMP had earlier approached the President of the Outlaws Club to advise they would be set up in the area to observe and monitor the party.

Marcus Ellis, a suspected member of the “Outlaws Motorcycle gang” has lost an appeal claiming an illegal search of his vehicle by RCMP members after he left a Halloween party at the Grand Falls-Windsor Clubhouse. The decision clears the way for his trafficking trial scheduled to begin in March.

©Patrick Murphy/TC Media

 

Justice Kendra Goulding dismissed the appeal stating, “the police officers sincerely believed they had the authority to stop the vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act and the violation, if committed was in good faith and minor in nature.

“The drugs and other evidence seized were non conscriptive and its seizure was non-intrusive (non-bodily evidence). Thus its admission would not render the trial unfair. There is a diminished expectation of privacy in a motor vehicle weighing in favour of admission,” her judgment added.

Goulding added that the search had no impact on human dignity and there are no reliability issues with the seized evidence.

“To exclude the evidence (some of which was boldly in plain view) would lead to an acquittal which I believe would greatly offend the community and bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The drugs include “molly” a serious Schedule 1 drug.”

As a result of the decision, all evidence found during the stop is now admissible at the trafficking trial.

Ellis still faces charges of, possessing marijuana and (molly) for the purpose of trafficking (separate counts) and breaching a recognizance.

The trial is scheduled to begin March 15, 2017, in Grand-Falls Windsor.

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