Dial-a-dope appeal goes up in smoke

A 37-year-old man who went by the name “Nasty” and was convicted in 2011 of being the leader of dial-a-dope operations in Surrey and Langley has had his  appeals rejected last week.

Dan MacNeil was convicted in B.C. Supreme Court  in  New Westminster on four counts in relation to dial-a-dope operations in Surrey and Langley in 2005 and 2006.

Information from his trial said he was known by the name of ‘Nasty,’ drove a Hummer and was accused of running the heroin trade with his brother and numerous others. Police conducted a 15-month long investigation that included wiretaps and undercover operations.

MacNeil was appealing his conviction on the basis that the trial judge erred in dismissing his application to cross-examine the police officer involved in the wiretaps and erred also in regards to the wiretap authorizations.

He appealed the wiretaps, arguing they didn’t meet the statutory requirements of “reasonable grounds” and “investigative necessity.”

Three B.C. judges from the Court of Appeal dismissed MacNeil’s appeals on the grounds that it was reasonable to obtain wiretaps and the there wasn’t a need to cross-examine the police officer involved.

The trial judge found that MacNeil was the leader of a group of people who conspired to traffic in drugs, namely cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in an enterprise known as a “dial-a-dope” operation.  The trafficking was conducted by way of two dial-a-dope phone lines in Surrey and Langley.

The activity was the subject of a 15-month police investigation started in July 2005, during which time investigators made 30 undercover purchases of controlled substances using the telephone lines in question.

The central issue at the trial was the admissibility of wiretap evidence obtained by the RCMP in August of 2006.

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