MANDEL: Judge finds dirty cop wasn’t victim of police entrapment

Article content

Crooked York Region cop Richard Senior has failed to convince a judge that he was a manipulated victim of an elaborate police sting and all 11 convictions against him should be thrown out.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Nope, he broke the law all by himself.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Vanessa Christie did agree the undercover investigation into Senior’s corrupt behaviour crossed the line a few times and stayed three of the less serious counts. But the remaining eight will stand — including trafficking in steroids, offering to traffic cocaine, and possessing a stolen York Regional Police shotgun for a planned armed robbery of what the veteran traffic enforcement officer believed was a warehouse filled with coke.

“It is the view of this court that this investigation was well managed and carried out for the most part,” Christie concluded in her 157-page judgment. “This case does not even come close to warranting a stay of proceedings for abuse of process.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The probe into Senior began in February 2018 after a confidential informant claimed the traffic cop — based in Markham — was using classified police intel to help his buddies in organized crime.

Labelled Project TADEU to lead others in the bureau to believe they were part of the Toronto Airport Drug Enforcement Unit, six officers began their investigation by running an audit of Senior’s career searches on CPIC, the central police database. “Very quickly,” the judge said, they found 150 suspicious queries connected to people involved in ongoing police investigations or with suspected ties to the mob.

“There was deep concern that organized crime figures had infiltrated the YRP,” she wrote.

Two undercover officers were deployed in June 2018 — the first was an RCMP officer posing as “Henry Wong,” a mid-level Asian crime boss, to see if Senior would run an illegal licence plate check on his behalf. The second was a YRP officer, identified only as “UC1” due to a publication ban, to work as Senior’s new shady partner and be the daily “eyes and ears.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“To suggest that this entire investigation took a problematic turn towards entrapment by involving undercover operators is wrong in this court’s view,” Christie wrote.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

They were focused on unlawful database checks and had no plan to incite Senior into committing robbery, unlawful possession of weapons or trafficking of drugs, the judge said. None of those crimes were even on the investigators’ radar.

It was Senior who kept surprising investigators by taking them around increasingly darker corners.

“As the investigation continued with the use of undercover officers, interceptions of private communications, and surveillance, the investigation went in unanticipated directions,” the judge noted. “There was evidence of obstruction of justice in relation to ‘fixing’ traffic tickets. There was evidence of steroid trafficking. There was evidence of cocaine trafficking. Ultimately, there was evidence that a robbery was being planned.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

After learning from Wong about his rival’s “drug warehouse,” it was Senior’s idea in September 2018 that he and his new partner should “go in heavy” with shotguns and then sell the stolen cocaine at $30,000 a kilo.

“The entire circumstances,” Christie wrote, “make it abundantly clear that the idea of introducing firearms and the idea of ‘offloading’ the cocaine came directly from Const. Senior.”

Senior was arrested on Oct. 9, 2018, just after he was seen taking a loaded YRP Remington Model 12-gauge pump-action from a police vehicle and placing it in the back of a rental van. “Const. Senior possessed the shotgun for the specific purpose of robbing a drug warehouse,” Christie said.

  1. In an Ontario Superior Court exhibit image, surveillance camera footage shows York Regional Police Const. Richard Senior placing a police shotgun in a rental van.

    MANDEL: Dirty York cop wants convictions tossed, argues he was ‘entrapped’ in police sting

  2. In an Ontario Superior Court exhibit image, surveillance camera footage shows York Regional Police Const. Richard Senior placing a police shotgun in a rental van.

    MANDEL: York cop to argue entrapment after sting leads to convictions

  3. In an Ontario Superior Court exhibit image, surveillance camera footage shows York Regional Police Const. Richard Senior placing a police shotgun in a rental van.

    MANDEL: Crown closes case against alleged dirty cop

The only good news for Senior was the judge staying his convictions for filing two forged documents and pocketing $300 meant for a non-existent confidential informant after she found his partner had induced him to do so. “We are pleased that entrapment was found,” said his lawyer, John Struthers.

Sentencing on the remaining eight convictions is scheduled for next month.

In the meantime, the dirty cop is suspended — with pay.

mmandel@postmedia.com

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world