Different judge to look at wiretap evidence in Langley drug trial

Supreme Court judge rules to let another judge look at whether or not taped calls are admissible

A Langley man charged with drug trafficking and obstructing a police officer is getting a different judge to listen to wiretap conversations that may or may not make up part of his trial in Supreme Court.

Leonard Pelletier, 49, is on trial, charged with five counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and one count of obstructing a police officer.

His trial, which has had many stops and starts over nearly a year, is scheduled to resume July 3.

The charges stem from a July 2014 arrest when B.C.’s gang unit shut down a large drug making facility based out of a Langley mansion.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit seized $400,000 worth of cocaine, meth, heroin, and a large quantity of drug-making paraphernalia from a 10,000-square-foot home in the 4600 block of 236 Street. Included in the seizures was pig dewormer, which was used as a buffer in the drugs.

READ MORE: Drug Trial Underway

Pelletier’s co-accused Jason Wallace, a member of the 856 gang, has already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison for six counts of drug trafficking.

Wallace, 28, was already behind bars for killing a high-ranking Hells Angel, Robert Green at a 2016 house party on a rural property in Langley.

In February, Pelletier’s defence applied to block wiretap telephone conversations made by Pelletier pertaining to the trial from being allowed into evidence.

In November 2017, Pelletier got a new lawyer. On Feb. 6, 2018, Crown counsel delivered new evidence to the defence in the way of 19 wiretap telephone conversations Mr. Pelletier made. Those taped calls, obtained by the CFSEU focus on Pelletier discussing his trial, said Crown.

Crown contends that those conversations are relevant to the case against him. Defence doesn’t want the tapes admitted into evidence.

The application regarding whether to admit the taped conversations into trial will be decided by a new judge.

“Trial judges who sit as triers of fact routinely deal with applications involving potentially prejudicial evidence. However, if there is a solution that eliminates any element of concern on the part of the accused, and both Crown and defence agree with it, then it seems to me that this solution should be adopted if possible,” said Judge Blok in his March 8 ruling which was made public online.

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