THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Opening comments: More at the end.
More details - "Some 44 of the bricks were missing."
Lots more to this story here.
Mississauga News - Nov. 25, 2008 - By Louie Rosella - email@example.com
Court hears officer intercepted fake drugs
Some 15 bricks of the bogus cocaine, including one that contained a tracking device, were located at Cook's Cambridge residence, according to federal prosecutors David Rowcliffe and Ania Weiler. They both contend Cook intercepted the shipment after it left the Air Canada cargo warehouse on the evening of Nov. 16, 2005.
Cook was unaware the bricks were part of an RCMP sting when he hid them at his home, court heard.
Cook has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges related to the discovery of the fake cocaine in his garage.
Cook, 40, is charged with attempt to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. He is also charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property (MP3 players) stolen from a police investigation and breach of trust as a police officer.
The look-alike drugs that vanished were part of an RCMP investigation that had initially involved 147 bricks of real cocaine being replaced with white flour and tracking devices before leaving Lima, Peru.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Nicholson told the court the drugs were delivered to Canada hidden in the bottom of 88 boxes containing mangoes.
Nicholson said the fake cocaine was delivered with intent to arrest those involved at the Canadian end. RCMP investigators didn't know the identities of the people who were expecting to receive the cocaine in Canada, court heard.
Nicholson became aware the bogus drug cargo had disappeared when he received a phone call from Air Canada security on Nov. 16 at about 7 p.m.
The next morning, Nicholson got word that a shipment of drugs had been seized by Peel police. Some 44 of the bricks were missing.
Eventually, signals from the missing cargo were picked up, leading investigators to a dumpster in Oakville and to Cook's home, Nicholson told the court.
Some of the bogus drugs that went missing that night were never recovered, court heard.
A 14-year police veteran when arrested, Cook has been suspended with pay by the force until his case is dealt with by the courts.
Meanwhile, Justice Canada has decided not to prosecute more than half-a-dozen drug cases where Cook was the arresting officer.
Just a month after Cook was charged, a judge acquitted former Toronto Argonaut Orlando Bowen of drug and assaulting police charges that were laid by Cook and another officer. Bowen has filed a lawsuit against Peel Police that is still before the courts.
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