Pot activist Tim Felger acquitted of all drug charges

Judge rules that police breached his charter rights when investigating his Da Kine store in downtown Abbotsford.

Tim Felger is shown during his May 2009 arrest after a drug warrant was executed on his DaKine store on Essendene Avenue in Abbotsford.



Pot activist Tim Felger has been acquitted of all charges related to accusations that he had sold marijuana, including to teens, out of his downtown Abbotsford store in 2009.

Felger, 55, faced seven charges – six counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking – but he was acquitted Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack after Justice Brian Joyce threw out all the evidence.

Joyce ruled that a police search of Felger’s Da Kine store, located at that time on Essendene Avenue, breached his charter rights.

Felger’s lawyer had argued that police had repeatedly come into his store, amounting to unauthorized searches, prior to a drug warrant being served and his subsequent arrest in May 2009.

Joyce agreed that police had trespassed on Felger’s property by ignoring signs he had posted that stated “no member of the Abbotsford Police Department is allowed onto this premise without a warrant.”

Because they had trespassed, any evidence they gathered during those visits – and which led to their reasons for obtaining a search warrant – was collected illegally, the judge stated.

This then made invalid the search warrant and any evidence collected from it.

Felger heralded the ruling.

“This is a big victory for people who have an expectation of privacy … I did not want the police just barging in my store and home anytime they felt like it with no warrant,” he said.

All charges were also dropped against Felger’s co-accused Natasha Healy. Crown counsel is considering whether to appeal the ruling.

Felger still faces other legal battles.

He plans to fight the City of Abbotsford over the cancellation of his business licence in 2009 after the drug charges were laid against him.

Following the decision, Felger kept Da Kine open, saying it was a political office for the use of his campaign to legalize marijuana.

But he was evicted from the location in April 2010 by court order after the owner of the building, Dan Banov, alleged that Felger owed him about $53,000 in back rent.

Felger disputed the claim, saying he owns half the building and his rent was paid in full. He has launched a civil suit against Banov.

“I plan on taking my building back and re-opening Da Kine,” he said.

After his eviction from the Abbotsford location, Felger set up Das Bhang, a “political office” and store on Horne Street in Mission.

He was charged in early 2011 with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking for allegedly selling pot from that location.

Felger’s next appearance on that matter is slated for March 6 in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack, although it will likely be adjourned, pending an outcome of the possible appeal on the Abbotsford case.

 

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Iron Mountain Music Festival delights Mission music fans

Inaugural event featured two days on non-stop musical entertainment

PHOTOS: Mission firefighters help mentor kids

Big Brothers Big Sisters Local Heroes daycamp took place and kids on the waitlist had great fun

Mission RCMP seek public’s help to find Allan Robert Niven

Man is wanted in British Columbia for crimes related to the production of illegal drugs

Adam Hadwin feels better second time around at British Open

Canada’s highest-ranked male golfer earned more than US$1.4 million this season

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Pride 2018

Highlights from Saturday at the annual event

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Indigenous housing providers worried Liberal proposals could put families on the streets

Indigenous housing providers raise alarms about future of federal funding deals

The Bandits arrive in the Fraser Valley

New professional basketball team announces name, colours and logo

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Most Read