Judge told man innocent party in cocaine transaction

Jim Day
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Jason Norman Yeo awaits decision Feb. 11

Jason Yeo

Defence counsel says evidence presented in court against a Charlottetown man charged with drug trafficking fails to show the man had an active or knowing hand in a cocaine transaction.

Mitchell MacLeod told Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie Thursday that the Crown was not able to establish that his client, Jason Norman Yeo, had any criminal involvement in the sell of cocaine to an undercover police officer.

MacLeod argued that all the Crown was able to prove during Yeo’s trial was that the man was the driver of a vehicle in which Chase Roper sold about $500 worth of cocaine to the undercover officer on May 9, 2012.

MacLeod says the transaction was brisk, taking mere seconds, with no time spent counting money or examining the cocaine. Yeo was simply sitting behind the wheel as the quick transaction took place.

“He did not touch the cocaine,’’ says MacLeod. “He did not touch the money.’’

There was no physical or forensic evidence linking Yeo to the cocaine that was sold in the parking lot of the Irving service station on St. Peter’s Road in Charlottetown.

Crown counsel Scott Barry told the court while only circumstantial, the evidence when taken collectively shows Yeo was aware a drug transaction was in the works before it took place.

Barry called the Crown’s final witness Wednesday, Const. B.J. Smith, the undercover officer who made the drug purchase leading to the charges against Yeo and Roper. The Crown contends that Yeo aided and abetted Roper in the sale of cocaine.

Smith testified he purchased cocaine on several occasions on the instructions of his RCMP superiors.

A good part of Smith’s testimony focused on a series of messages that flowed between himself and Roper on May 9, 2012. The purpose of those messages was to set up a drug buy of cocaine.

Smith and Roper eventually agreed to meet in the parking lot of the Irving service station. Smith said a car carrying Roper and Yeo pulled up next to him and parked. Yeo was driving.

Almost immediately Roper passed the cocaine to Smith and Smith passed the money to Roper.

MacLeod did not call any witnesses. The trial concluded Thursday with summations from MacLeod and Barry.

Cheverie, noting the case is a difficult one, said he would deliver his decision on Feb. 11.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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