A Chilliwack man's drug trafficking trial will continue after a Supreme Court justice ruled police acted properly when they arrested him at gunpoint and searched his vehicle.
Rodney Unger is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking and three counts of possession of a firearm without a licence.
The court heard that on April 7, 2011, police visited the Ryder Lake home of Mark Perkins, who was wanted by police.
Mounties staked out the Lookout Road home and followed a truck that left the home, thinking Perkins might be inside. Two cruisers pulled over the vehicle. As one RCMP approached his vehicle, he drew his gun and yelled at the driver to turn off the truck.
The man failed to comply, and Cpl. Kurt Bos-nell opened the door to switch off the ignition. As he did so, he recognized that Unger, not Perkins was the driver, the court was told.
With the door open, Bosnell immediately spotted a plastic bag of what appeared to be meth in a storage area of the door.
While Unger said the drugs were for personal use and police found a pipe in the truck, Bosnell testified that the quantity of drugs was consistent with drug trafficking.
After Mounties began searching the rest of the truck, Unger pointed police to a backpack. Inside Mounties found three handguns.
Unger and his defence counsel Suzanne Paterson argued the Crown's case was "outlandish" and that police didn't have the right to detain either him or his passenger.
The Crown disagreed, noting that police were justified in thinking that Perkins could be in the truck and that Bosnell opened the door of the truck for safety reasons because Unger wasn't turning off the vehicle as requested.
Justice Brenda Brown agreed, and added: "Even if opening the door did constitute a search, although a motorist does have some expectation of privacy, in this case, I have concluded that there were exigent circumstances, namely Mr. Unger's failure to disengage the truck's engine, which justified the opening of the door by Corporal Bosnell."
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