A civilian employee of the Corner Brook Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has been accused of tipping off the targets of a drug investigation.
Angela Marie McCarthy, 31, has been charged with wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding by knowingly releasing information pertaining to the identity of targets in a drug investigation.
The accusation against the Benoit’s Cove woman was from an incident that took place between Aug. 9-20, 2013.
“In August 2013 the RNC became aware that a civilian employee of the Corner Brook Detachment had disclosed information gained through the course of her employment,” stated a press release from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. “The release of this information had a negative impact on an ongoing police operation.”
Police declined to discuss the matter further Tuesday, but are expected to address the situation today.
“The RNC would like to assure the public that it takes the protection and privacy of information very seriously,” the release continued. “The RNC is confident that there is no further risk of that employee disclosing any new information at this time.”
Lawyer Jonathan Andrews, representing the firm of Poole Althouse, appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook Tuesday on behalf of McCarthy. The matter was set over until June 24.
The only discussion revolved around whether there should be two or one informations before the court. There has been two informations sworn, one on April 10 and another on April 15. Both reflect the same charge, with the earlier information adding details that it was with respect to the identity of targets in a drug investigation.
The drug investigation eventually resulted in the arrest of a pair of Benoit’s Cove men — Terrence Gallant and Bruce Hickey — and two Ontario men — Jean-Paul Mandoux and Andre Seguin. Police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars and five pounds of marijuana as a result of Operation Backstop — a joint investigation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and involved the RCMP Serious and Organized Crime Unit in Cornwall, Ont.
The men were arrested on numerous charges including conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance, possession of property obtained by crime, money laundering and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
All four men are still being dealt with in court. Hickey and Gallant — represented by Erin Breen — also had their matters called Tuesday and were set over until July 8.