RCMP interview video shown in 2nd day of N.W.T. elder and daughter's drug trafficking trial
'I don't want to be a rat,' said woman accused of trafficking drugs in 2016 police interview
Mary Anne Lafferty sobbed with her hands covering her face as she sat in N.W.T. Supreme Court on Thursday as a jury watched her being interviewed by an RCMP officer the night she was arrested in 2016.
Lafferty and her mother, Vitaline, are on trial this week. Each face eight drug-trafficking charges. The women, both from Ndilo, N.W.T., were arrested after RCMP found cocaine, marijuana, liquid codeine and MDMA in a vehicle that police say was being driven by Vitaline Lafferty.
At the time of the arrest, Vitaline was 77 years old and Mary Anne was 55.
Const. Joe Miller was called to testify on Thursday. He was working with the federal investigation unit of the RCMP in Yellowknife at the time of the arrest.
Miller told the court he was instructed to drive from Yellowknife to Enterprise, N.W.T., where he would wait for a 2014 blue Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle on March 18, 2016.
With the life I've lived, it's a lot better to shut your mouth.- Mary Anne Lafferty, from RCMP interview video
Miller testified that he spotted the SUV at approximately 7:27 p.m.
He notified RCMP Const. Philip Unger, who was stationed at a checkstop near Fort Providence, N.W.T. Unger arrested the two women.
After the Laffertys were arrested, they were interviewed at the Fort Providence RCMP detachment.
'I don't want to be a rat'
In a video recording of the RCMP interview, Mary Anne Lafferty is shown telling Miller she was instructed by someone, described as "him," to drive to a location down south, pick up items, and drive back to Yellowknife.
She said the man had promised Vitaline $1,000 for her overdue power bill if she went on the trip, as Mary Anne had an arm injury and couldn't drive.
Mary Anne Lafferty said she was not going to receive anything for her involvement in transporting the items.
In the video, she said she did not know she was picking up drugs, and she wouldn't tell RCMP the name of the man who instructed her to drive south. She said the man told her where to drive, but she wouldn't tell the officers the location.
"With the life I've lived, it's a lot better to shut your mouth," Mary Anne told Miller in the video.
"I don't want to be a rat.... I have not given anyone money and I don't touch the stuff."
- MORE NORTH NEWS | Trauma can change brain chemistry, expert says
- MORE NORTH NEWS | Canada sees info 'gaps' about dangerous goods moving through North
No video of Vitaline
There was no video footage of the police interview with Vitaline. Her lawyer, Charles Davison, asked Miller in court what he remembered from the interview.
Miller said he conducted his interview with Vitaline on the morning of March 19, 2016.
During that interview, the elder put her head on the table and sobbed, Miller testified.
There was no information provided about what she said during the interview.
The trial continues Friday with more testimony from the Crown.