Cop Who Sold Pot in High Spirits

Peter Hodson, former Vancouver police officer, seen here during his time on the UBC Thunderbirds team.Peter Hodson, former Vancouver police officer, seen here during his time on the UBC Thunderbirds team.A former Vancouver police officer charged with selling marijuana, then fired from the department hours after his arrest last week, is “in positive spirits and holding up well,” his lawyer says.

Vincent Michaels offered the observation on Monday after a brief court appearance by Peter Hodson, who was a police officer for four years and 11 months until being fired hours after being arrested at police headquarters.

The 31-year-old married father of three young children has been in custody since his arrest, and showed up in the prisoners dock in inmates’ orange. Mr. Michaels has declined comment on security concerns about a former police officer being held in custody.

But it will be May 4 at the earliest before a bail hearing is held in the case, and Mr. Michaels said Crown disclosure of evidence will help him decide how to proceed.

“[It] may or may not be for a bail hearing,” Mr. Michaels told the justice of the peace when asked about his plans at Mr. Hodson’s next court appearance. Mr. Michaels also said he expects a “lengthy” bail proceeding, but did not elaborate.

Outside court, he said he’s anxious to obtain full disclosure of all Crown evidence to make an informed decision about bail “and everything else.”

“Prior to that, we’re not really in a meaningful position to do that,” he said. “From our point of view, we’re being told to hurry up and wait. I’m told that’s being done as quickly as possible and, at this point, I’ll assume that’s the case.” He suggested things may be delayed because “it’s a complicated file,” but said he hoped he would have the material soon.

The defence lawyer has said his client will probably enter a not-guilty plea, but that the decision will hinge on all the evidence.

Following a tip, the former constable came to be the focus of a police investigation that involved 30 officers from the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP.

At a news conference the day of his arrest, police Chief Jim Chu called the situation “disturbing and disgraceful” and described Mr. Hodson as a “rogue” officer.

Mr. Hodson faces various charges, including breaking and entering to commit extortion linked to the trafficking allegations; breach of trust for selling drugs; and the illegal use of the police database. The offences allegedly occurred between Dec. 4, 2009, and last Tuesday.

His co-accused on the allegations of trafficking marijuana is Oscar Lapitan, 29.

Mr. Hodson was previously arrested last November for allegedly drinking and driving, and charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit.

– Article from The Globe and Mail.