Drug trafficking acquittal upheld

The acquittal of a White Rock man accused of cocaine trafficking has been upheld by B.C.’s highest court.

Glen Hehn was charged in July 2003 with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking after 52 kilograms of cocaine worth $1.56 million were seized from a pickup truck and a Surrey storage locker.

Hehn rented the locker in December 2002 and said during his trial that he gave an acquaintance, Ewan Lilford, a key and the pass code to the facility so that he too could store stuff there.

Lilford picked Hehn up from his White Rock home on the morning of July 21, 2003, and the two drove to the storage locker. Hehn testified that Lilford punched in the pass code and used the key he was given to open the locker.

Hehn retrieved a dog kennel and a pair of life jackets from the locker, while Lilford loaded a couple of boxes into the back of the pickup truck.

Police had the pair under surveillance and pulled the truck over after it left the storage facility. When Mounties searched the two men, they found Hehn had a key to the storage locker, but Lilford did not.

At trial, Hehn testified he had no knowledge of the cocaine stored in the locker or contained in the boxes Lilford loaded into the pickup truck.

The prosecution argued that Hehn had to have known about the drugs, and the cocaine was in fact his, but the trial judge concluded that Hehn’s testimony raised doubt about his guilt.

Crown counsel appealed the verdict, saying the judge engaged in impermissible conjecture and speculation to find reasonable doubt.

However, the judges who heard the appeal ruled Tuesday that the trial judge did not make an error of law and dismissed the appeal.

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