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Police bashed through garage door, arrest ruled violation of rights

By Hempology | February 7, 2008

Canwest News Service
February 07, 2008

Judge rules cops violated rights of pot grower

SURREY — A B.C. Supreme Court judge tossed out all charges against a Surrey man yesterday even though police found more than 700 pot plants in his basement.

Justice Catherine Bruce ruled Van Dung Cao’s charter rights were violated when police battered their way into his home in March 2004.

Bruce said that even though marijuana production is a huge local problem, Surrey RCMP should have given Cao more warning before breaking into the house with guns drawn.

Cao argued he was on his way to the front door after hearing police call out. But before he could get there, he said, the police bashed through a garage door and made the arrest.

Two of the officers involved in executing the search warrant testified at Cao’s trial in December that they waited at least two minutes after announcing their presence before making their way to the other door and entering.

Surrey RCMP spokesman Cpl. Roger Morrow said he hopes the ruling will be appealed. Morrow said police are facing increasing threats of violence from those involved in drug trafficking. “We know that the people involved in the drug trade arm themselves. We know they arm themselves not only with handguns, but with submachine-guns,” Morrow said.

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