Alan Peter Knapczyk v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Alberta) (Criminal) (As of Right)


Criminal law.


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Criminal law - Offences - Trafficking - Party liability - Aiding and abetting - Whether the Court of Appeal erred in holding that the trial judge erred in law by failing to conclude on the facts that the appellant committed the offence of trafficking by distribution in the absence of proof that the appellant aided or abetted a specific instance of trafficking under s. 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, S.C. 1996, c. 19, and s. 21(1)(b) or (c) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46.

Mr. Knapczyk was convicted of conspiring to traffic in cocaine and conspiring to traffic in cocaine in association with a criminal organization, but was acquitted of trafficking in cocaine. Mr. Knapczyk, who was involved with the Hells Angels, provided protection to a cocaine distribution business in order to ensure its smooth operation. The Crown appealed the acquittal, arguing that the trial judge erred in law in failing to find that Mr. Knapczyk was a party to the offence of trafficking. The Court of Appeal agreed with the Crown. It allowed the appeal, set aside the acquittal and entered a conviction against Mr. Knapczyk for trafficking in cocaine.