Toronto

Toronto cop charged in drug bust traffic stop charged in earlier arrest of same man

A Toronto police officer faces more charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in regards to another arrest of the same man. Nguyen Son Tran was accused of drug possession, but a judge later ruled the officers came up with a story to justify pulling him over.

Judge ruled officers concocted a false story about why they stopped the man and searched his car

A Toronto police officer faces more charges in the arrest of the same man a year earlier, after a judge ruled the officer said he found heroin on the dash to justify a search of his car. (CBC)

A Toronto police officer charged in the arrest of a man accused of possessing heroin during a traffic stop, now faces more charges in the arrest of the same man a year earlier.

Const. Benjamin Elliot was already facing four counts of obstructing justice and three counts of perjury. He's one of four officers charged in relation to the Jan 2014 arrest of Nguyen Son Tran.

Now Elliott is also facing two more charges of obstructing justice and one more charge of perjury in relation to the arrest of Tran on Jan 4, 2013.

Last September, a judge ruled the officers concocted a false story about why they stopped the man and searched his car, dismissing the charges against him.

Justice Edward Morgan also ruled the officers falsely testified they found loose heroin powder on the dashboard, which led to a search that uncovered 11 more grams of the drug wrapped and hidden behind the car's steering column. He alleges the officers placed the loose heroin on the dash after the search.

In January, the four officers were charged with 17 offences arising from the arrest of Nguyen Son Tran on January 15, 2014.

Then in February, three of the officers were charged with five more offences in the same incident. In total, they now face 25 charges between them.

The four officers charged are: 

  • Const. Jeffrey Tout, 41, 17 years of service, assigned to 55 Division. It is alleged he provided false court testimony, and is charged with four counts of obstructing  justice and three counts of perjury. 
  • Const. Benjamin Elliott, 33, nine years of service, 55 Division. Charged with six counts of obstructing justice and four counts of perjury 
  • Const. Michael Taylor, 34, 11 years of service, 51 Division. Charged with two counts of obstructing justice, one count of perjury. 
  • Det. Const. Fraser Douglas, 37, 14 years of service, 55 Division. Charged with three counts of obstructing justice, two counts of perjury. 

When the initial charges were laid, Chief Mark Saunders said he has assembled a special team of professional standards investigators to look at other cases involving the officers, to see if there is "any other cause of concern."

Elliot is due in Finch Avenue court today.

The four officers have been suspended with pay while the case goes to court.

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