Judge convicts trucker of trafficking, contraband offences

Cory
Cory Hurley
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A trucker has been found guilty of trafficking drugs and carrying contraband while transporting playground equipment from Ontario to Gambo about two years ago.

Provincial court Judge Wayne Gorman made his decision this week in the trial against Wayne Scott Winsor that was held earlier this month.

He was convicted on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of contraband and possession of unstamped tobacco products.

The long haul trucker was arrested Oct. 23, 2012 at the Pynn’s Brook weigh scale in western Newfoundland. Police received information from a paid confidential source that marijuana was being transported in the truck. They found marijuana, methamphetamine and contraband tobacco during a search.

In January, Gorman had determined the evidence obtained by police was admissable. The trucker for Badcock’s Trucking of Nova Scotia argued his arrest was unlawful and the search was unreasonable. He also claimed police failed to promptly notify him of his right to obtain counsel. The judge dismissed the arguments.

This month, Winsor testified he was asked by the trucking company to pick up the tractor trailer in Gander, drive it to Simcoe, Ont., to get playground equipment, then deliver it to the Town of Gambo.

Winsor told the judge he picked up the tractor trailer, which had been used by another driver. He claimed he had cleaned up the messy driving and living portion of the truck before leaving, placing some items in a garbage bag. He testified he saw the garbage bag that contained five bags of marijuana, but he never looked inside.

He also testified that he broke down in Nova Scotia and again in sight of the warehouse in Simcoe. He was towed to a nearby garage, he stated.

He stayed in a motel overnight and claimed the truck would not have been locked because it was empty.

He also testified a mechanic drove the truck to the nearby warehouse, where the playground equipment was loaded. He claimed he did not go to the warehouse or see the equipment being loaded, nor did he check it afterwards.

Winsor said he purchased the cigars, unknowing they were contraband. He also claimed ownership of the “joint” and pills, which he called “bennies” or “uppers,” found in the visor.

Federal Crown attorney Donald Singleton argued Windsor’s evidence made “no sense” and provincial Crown attorney Lori St. Croix said it was not “plausible,” according to the written decision of Gorman. The Crown argued it wasn’t conceivable that somebody would place a large quantity of contraband in the tractor-trailer Winsor was operating in hopes it could be retrieved from a locked vehicle before being discovered and the police contacted.

‘Reasonable explanation’

Defence lawyer Robert Matthews argued Winsor provided a “reasonable explanation” for how the contraband was put in the tractor trailer. He argued it should create a reasonable doubt for the judge.

Gorman ruled Winsor’s evidence was not honestly given, and it did not cause him to have any reasonable doubt.

“Mr. Winsor’s evidence was nonsensical,” Gorman wrote. “I conclude it was deliberately false.”

Police seized a "joint" and 11 one-half tablets in a tin behind a visor above the driver’s seat, three and one-half grams of marijuana in a fridge in the sleeping area, five one-half pound packages of marijuana in a duct-taped box in a garbage bag behind the passenger seat, 160 cigars on a shelf in the sleeping area, and nine sealed boxes of 50 cartons of contraband tobacco (90,000 in total) covered by a tarp.

Sentencing submissions for Winsor are expected to be presented Monday in provincial court in Corner Brook.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Ontario, Gambo Simcoe Newfoundland Gander Corner Brook

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