The drug trafficking trial of a Saskatoon Hells Angel paused Thursday to allow lawyers to prepare closing arguments.
Rob Allen, 36, finish testifying in his own defence Thursday morning.
He was charged with cocaine trafficking as part of Project Forseti, a high-profile police operation targeting the Fallen Saints and Hells Angels motorcycle clubs that culminated in a series of raids in January 2015.
Allen is accused of cocaine trafficking based on a series of taped conversations with Noel Harder, a former cocaine trafficker turned police informant who served as vice-president of the Fallen Saints. Allen is alleged to have offered to get a kilogram of cocaine shipped from Ontario for Harder.
Allen testified at trial he was lying about being able to get Harder cocaine. He said he was addicted to opiates at the time and Harder was his source of pills, so he strung him along over nine months to avoid jeopardizing his supply of drugs.
Speaking outside Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, Crown Prosecutor Doug Curliss explained that offering to sell cocaine can constitute trafficking – even if no drugs or money ever change hands. He said it is possible for a judge to convict even if the offer was part of a ruse.
Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar said the nine-month timeframe, with no cocaine ever showing up in Saskatoon, should weigh in his client’s favour.
“A person could have walked from Eastern Canada with a kilo of coke and got it here sooner,” he said.
Bodnar said he was troubled by the various inducements Harder got from police, including a payment of $300,000 and a pass on 33 potential weapons charges for illegally transporting guns. He noted Harder admitted to giving Allen OxyContin on at least one occasion after he had signed his deal to work as a police agent.
“Which is trafficking – after he signed the deal,” Bodnar said.
By law, a defence of entrapment can only be made after a guilty verdict. Bodnar said he felt his client’s case was strong enough for an acquittal, but added he was prepared to argue entrapment if the verdict comes back guilty.
Bodnar said it’s clear Harder is the one who initiated the discussions with his client about cocaine, and that he was acting under police orders when he did so.
“When a person is not involved in the drug trade and the police get an agent to act for them, what is it but entrapment at that stage?” he asked.
Allen will be back in court Jan. 16.