Gerald McNamara, a known drug dealer with four trafficking-related convictions between December 2007 and June 2012, had been observed by police engaging in an “exchange” with another individual then engaging in “several short cell phone calls.” Police proceeded to search Mr. McNamara and found him to be in possession of cocaine, marijuana, and $2,494.41 in cash.
Justice Wood of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ordered forfeiture of the money, finding that there was clear evidence of trafficking:
“ I am satisfied that the Manager has met the necessary burden of proof and that a forfeiture order should be granted pursuant to s. 7(1) of the Act. I do not believe that there are any circumstances which would justify exercising the discretionary powers to provide relief from forfeiture found in s. 8 of the Act.”
This relatively clear-cut case is distinguishable on its facts from more speculative civil forfeiture endeavours such as Nova Scotia (Civil Forfeiture) v. Allen in which the same Justice Wood denied forfeiture and set out the evidentiary burden which Nova Scotia’s Manager of Civil Forfeiture is required to meet.
Decided by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on April 25, 2013.
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