Jason Rocha was investigated in 2008 by the Toronto Police Service for drug and weapon offences. In pursuit of their investigation, the police sought search warrants for Rocha’s restaurant and residence. This issuance of these warrants was almost exclusively based on information provided by a single confidential informant (CI). At trial, the defence challenged whether the warrants should have issued and sought the exclusion of evidence due to a breach of section 8 of the Charter.
The decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal released on October 24, 2012 highlights the very real difficulties facing trial courts called upon to review the merits of an information to obtain a search warrant where it is based on information from a CI: 2012 ONCA 707.
The concurring decision by Juriansz J places a bold challenge at the feet of Crown counsel to make best use of the vastly underutilised tool available to them: step 6 from Garofoli.