A Mission man charged after a large drug and gun seizure in 2020– the largest in the history of the Ridge Meadows RCMP – has been found guilty.
Scott William Cashman was charged with seven counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking including methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, ketamine, codeine, hydromorphone, and morphine – that were discovered in two residences – one in Maple Ridge and the other in Mission – after search warrants were executed on both properties.
In her Supreme Court of B.C. ruling on May 30 Madame Justice Martha Devlin found Cashman guilty, saying she was satisfied the Crown established beyond a reasonable doubt that Cashman had both knowledge and control of the controlled substances found at the residence, where he lived, on Columbia Street in Mission.
After executing a search warrant at the Mission house police found 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.6 kgs of methamphetamine, and various other amounts of other controlled substances.
Cashman’s counsel attempted to claim that because their client lived in the downstairs portion of the residence that he could not be presumed to possess the drugs that were found upstairs. The judge disagreed.
A summary of evidence described how on July 16, 2020 members of the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, ERT, helped the Ridge Meadows RCMP execute a search warrant at the residence on Columbia Street where Cashman lived with Christopher Leigh Harmes, 38, who was subsequently charged with 14 counts of drug trafficking and weapons charges in relation to this incident.
In April Harmes, who had a history of drug and firearms offences, received a 14 year prison sentence – with time served he has 11 years left.
The search warrant came after an investigation into drug trafficking at the home in Mission and at a second residence at 12021 Garden St. in Maple Ridge, where a third co-accused person, a person identified as Ms. Scholar, lived.
Both Cashman and Harmes were put under surveillance at both residences between April 1 and July 16, 2020.
A grey Dodge Ram pickup truck that was registered to Cashman was observed at both locations, and both men were observed entering and exiting both residences carrying duffle bags.
When the ERT executed the search warrant in Mission, no controlled substances or paraphernalia were located in Cashman’s bedroom or on the main floor of the residence, where he lived.
However Harmes was caught trying to get out through the window of his second-floor window at the back of the house, holding a bag. When police searched his bedroom and en-suite bathroom they discovered a significant amount of controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, and firearms including: a loaded 9 mm calibre Shadow semiautomatic pistol with one ammunition cartridge in its chamber in the “cocked” position, ready to fire; an electronic cash-counting machine on a stool next to the bed where a bundle of Canadian currency in various denominations, totalling $2,610, was found; and various items associated with the mixing and weighing of drugs.
Another 9 mm carbine semiautomatic rifle with a folding stock and cut down barrel was discovered along with a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun cartridge magazine and approximately 200 rounds of 9 mm ammunition and a cartridge magazine for a GSG MP40 rifle containing twenty-one 9 mm cartridges.
An additional $102,725 in a closet of another bedroom on the second floor.
On the same day, Ridge Meadows RCMP also executed a search warrant at the residence in Maple Ridge where they found a black safe in Scholar’s bedroom containing 164.62 grams of methamphetamine and 145.64 grams of cocaine and several bundles of Canadian currency totalling $6,665, and a plastic container with $328 of rolled Canadian coins.
The Garden Street home first came to police attention after they were called to the address regarding a deceased male, and noticed approximately 20 glass pipes with white residue on the premises, along with what appeared to be crack rocks and a small bag of methamphetamine.
In total, 72,000 doses of illicit drugs were seized by police, including 3.5 kilograms of suspected “blue fentanyl”.
At a press conference following the arrest, Insp. Aaron Paradis said the blue fentanyl was linked to multiple overdose deaths throughout the Lower Mainland.
Judge Devlin found that, based on the surveillance on April 30, 2020, there was enough evidence to connect Harmes and Cashman to the activity at the Garden Street residence.
“Having considered the cumulative effect of all of the evidence viewed logically and in light of human experience, I find that the only reasonable inference is that Mr. Cashman had knowledge that the drugs were located in the residence and had a degree of control over them,” concluded Madame Justice Devlin.
“I find that the evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Cashman had constructive possession of the controlled substances located at the Columbia Street Residence,” she said.
Cashman is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on Aug. 8.
• With notes from Patrick Penner, reporter at the Mission Record
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