Pot wasn’t mine, officer tells court

From the Toronto StarAug 19, 2009 11:25 AM
Bob Mitchell

A 14-year veteran Peel Police officer, accused of stealing fake cocaine from a botched RCMP drug delivery, today explained why some marijuana was also found in his garage during a search.

Const. Sheldon Cook said the pot was found in one of 10 boxes stored in his garage by his brother Darren. The property belonged to his brother’s former tenant, who skipped out on his rent from a condo leased by his brother, a real estate agent.

"I had absolutely no knowledge there was any marijuana in my garage," Cook, 40, testified today at his Brampton trial. "There was no odour indicating marijuana was there. If I had known, obviously I would never have allowed the boxes to be stored in my garage."

Cook told his lawyer Pat Ducharme that Brake moved to Newfoundland and has not been located, court heard.

Cook’s brother also stored some of his own property in the garage and a backyard shed while his new condo was being built, court heard.

The marijuana and 15 fake bricks of cocaine were discovered by the RCMP in Cook’s garage in Cambridge during a search warrant on Nov. 18, 2005. They were led there by a GPS tracking unit hidden among the dummy drugs.

Cook has pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges in the trial which began in November. Cook’s charges include attempt to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property and breach of trust as a police officer.

He remains suspended with pay

Federal prosecutors say Cook took the drugs, which he believed were real during his involvement in a crew investigating the seizure of 102 bricks of suspected cocaine from a courier truck the night before in Mississauga.

The drugs turned out to be flour, part of a mistake-filled RCMP controlled delivery from Peru to Canada that went missing 12 hours earlier after arriving at Pearson International Airport.

The trial is continues.


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