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Civil forfeiture office alleges $2M Surrey home was used to launder cannabis money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

  • Oct. 25, 2020 1:35 p.m.

The B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office is accusing an Ocean Park resident of using his $2 million home to launder money.

In documents filed in BC Supreme Court Oct. 16, the forfeiture office is asking for the home, along with more than $85,000 seized by the RCMP, to be turned over to the government.

The defendants in the case are Jason Edward Baird, his father Tony Edward Baird, and Jason’s spouse Teal Ashbury Hayden. Hayden and Jason are accused of operating an illegal cannabis distribution business. The accusations have not yet been proven in court.

Civil Forfeiture Office revealed that on June 18, Surrey RCMP assisted the Winnipeg Police Service in executing a search warrant in a home on 22 Avenue in Ocean Park.

The search warrant was effectuated after Canada Post seized a suspicious package from Ontario containing $88,710 in cash destined for a post office box associated with Jason. An ion scan of the cash tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine.

In searching the home, police found $85,510 in Canadian currency, some American and Mexican money, and a 95-gram gold nugget. The investigation also indicated that Hayden purchased a number of internet domains associated with the sale of cannabis, including bcbudexpress.com, vancityweedexpress.ca, canadabcbud.ca, buyweedexpress.com and vancityweedexpress.com.

The documents allege that on or before June 18, 2020, Jason and Hayden were operating an unlawful online cannabis distribution business under the domain names.

In addition to cash, police found just under 2,656 grams of cannabis, 184 grams of non-solid CBD concentrate, 2,088 grams of solid CBD concentrate and a record of transactions. The search also turned up the keys for various vehicles, including a Corvette, a Ford F450, a Lance Camper, a Nissan and a Harley Davidson.

While an online court registry search did not indicate if charges were laid, the suit says RCMP arrested Hayden at the property for trafficking of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds obtained by crime over $5,000, and conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit the offences.

The suit claims that the property and money are proceeds and instruments of unlawful activity. The unlawful activity, the Civil Forfeiture Office alleges, includes selling cannabis contrary to the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act; possession for the purpose of distributing contrary to the cannabis act; possession of the proceeds of crime; laundering the proceeds of crime; and failure to declare taxable income.

The suit says Jason and his father purchased the home in 2017. On Nov. 22, 2018, Jason transferred 48 per cent of his legal interest in the property to his father.

“The Transfer was not a bona fide transaction for value and is not a valid or enforceable charge against the title to the Property,” the suit says. “The transfer of the Property was not done in good faith for good consideration.”

The suit alleges that Jason is the “true” owner of the property and his father Tony acts as a “owner of convenience” on behalf of his son.

Crime

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