Drug trafficking trial to enter final day in Penticton as defence presents its case

Were drugs for sale, or use?

Crown counsel concluded its case against a man facing multiple drug trafficking charges in Penticton Thursday.

Marshall Hunter, in his early 40s, pleaded not guilty to three counts of possession with intent to traffic in court Tuesday as his three-day trial kicked off.

On Wednesday, Crown finished with its witnesses, all of whom were RCMP officers. Two who testified Tuesday were involved with the initial arrest and the chain of custody of the drugs.

Court heard testimony Wednesday from an RCMP member who is an expert in drug trafficking investigations, who explained that in his opinion, the quantities of drugs found on Hunter's person on Oct. 23, 2020 — roughly 109 grams of methamphetamine, 15 grams total of fentanyl and 15 grams of cocaine — were not consistent with personal use. Instead, they were intended for sale.

He also said that the manner in which they were packaged, in baggies not yet broken down into individual doses, and the fact that Hunter was travelling with this amount was inconsistent with an average drug user, who would be more likely to space out purchases for their use and may be wary of carrying so much on them at one time for fear of theft or bust.

Defence counsel for Hunter probed this explanation, asking whether a "score sheet" — a ledger often found on dealers to keep track of sales — or any empty baggies or weapons were found on Hunter. The answer was no.

The trial will pick up again Thursday morning for its expected conclusion, with defence presenting their side of the case.

None of the above allegations have yet been proven in court.

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