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Canada Toronto trial hears cop tipped off drug dealers in exchange for cash

05:37  13 march  2018
05:37  13 march  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Craig Ruthowsky, left, allegedly supplied information to drug dealers including the times and locations of pending search warrants and the identity of confidential informants. At right is his lawyer, Greg Lafontaine, outside Superior Court in Toronto on Monday.© Betsy Powell Craig Ruthowsky, left, allegedly supplied information to drug dealers including the times and locations of pending search warrants and the identity of confidential informants. At right is his lawyer, Greg Lafontaine, outside Superior Court in Toronto on Monday.

A suspended Hamilton police officer fed drug traffickers sensitive information and favours in return for cash payments, a Crown attorney said Monday during his opening address to a Toronto jury.

Craig Ruthowsky, a former member of the Hamilton Police Service’s guns and gangs unit, has pleaded not guilty to obstruct justice, bribery, breach of trust, trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

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Craig Ruthowsky, left, allegedly supplied information to drug dealers including the times and locations of pending search warrants and the identity of confidential informants. At right is his lawyer, Greg Lafontaine, outside Superior Court in Toronto on Monday.

Craig Ruthowsky, left, is accused of feeding sensitive information to drug traffickers in return for cash payments. (Betsy Powell / Toronto Star file photo). Trial hears cop tipped off drug dealers in exchange for cash .

He became ensnared in a Toronto Police Service wiretap investigation called Project Pharaoh aimed at gathering evidence of drug and firearm trafficking in Toronto’s west end, Crown attorney John Pollard said in Superior Court.

The information he allegedly supplied to drug dealers included times and locations of pending search warrants, the identity of confidential informants, the working hours of certain police units and covert investigative techniques, Pollard said during his nearly hour-long, detailed summary of the expected evidence.

That shared intelligence “allowed those who were party to the scheme to evade detection and prosecution,” Pollard said. “It made them better, more effective, drug traffickers.”

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Crown opens its case against Hamilton police officer Craig Ruthowsky who is alleged to have fed drug traffickers secret information for cash .

Toronto trial hears cop tipped off drug dealers in exchange for cash | Toronto Star. thestar.com. 16 saat · Herkese Açık.

The prosecution alleges Ruthowsky’s conduct “compromised police investigations both big and small, from roadside traffic stops to large, sprawling, wiretap-based projects.”

In so doing, “Ruthowsky breached his statutory duties under the Police Services Act, duties that require him to investigate diligently and prevent the commission of criminal offences, as well as his duty to apprehend those responsible,” Pollard said.

The Crown also alleges Ruthowsky participated in two separate drug trafficking schemes, in one instance by allegedly letting a drug trafficker enter a marijuana grow operation and leave with half of a harvest.

Ruthowsky also participated in cocaine trafficking by taking an unknown cutting agent to a private lab for identification, Pollard said. The identification allowed the dealer to obtain the agent at substantial cost saving, allowing him to turn a greater profit, he said.

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Toronto trial hears cop tipped off drug dealers in exchange for cash . Mar 12, 2018.

The Crown alleges Ruthowsky was helping the criminals he was supposed to be prosecuting, in exchange for cash . Corruption trial begins, Crown says Hamilton cop sold police secrets to drug dealers .

The Crown’s main witness, a Hamilton-based drug dealer, will testify that he negotiated the terms of the cash-for-protection scheme and made monthly payments to Ruthowsky. His identity is protected under a provisional, court-ordered publication ban.

The witness will testify that after Hamilton police arrested him for drug trafficking in 2011, he worked out an cash-for-protection arrangement with Ruthowsky, Pollard told jurors.

He will testify Ruthowsky agreed to supply inside police information in return for cash, Pollard said. Other criminals also looking for police protection agreed to chip in on the scheme, and together they pulled together $20,000 for monthly payments, Pollard said.

The Crown will tender evidence that the Ruthowsky family’s net worth in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 grew by at least $25,000 each year due to unknown sources of income, the Crown said.

The jury will also hear Ruthowsky’s former friend and colleague testify he invested “heavily” in improvements to his home, notably the backyard, the prosecutor said.

Also during the time of the alleged protection scheme, the colleague will testify Ruthowsky bought a new F-150 pickup truck and made deposits, with his wife, on two condo developments in Hamilton and Oakville.

The trial continues.

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