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Five new charges laid against cops involved in alleged conspiracy case

The headquarters of the Toronto Police Service are shown in a 2014 file photo. CITYNEWS

Toronto police have announced five new charges have been filed against three of the four officers connected to an alleged conspiracy to take down a low-level drug dealer.

As CityNews reported on Jan. 27, four TPS officers had been charged with 17 charges, including nine of obstructing and eight of purjury, stemming from the arrest of Nguyen Son Tran during a traffic stop at Gerrard Street and Broadview Avenue on Jan. 15, 2014.

Const. Jeffrey Tout has been charged with one more count of perjury and two counts of obstructing justice. Const. Benjamin Elliot and Det. Const. Fraser Douglas have both been charged with one more count of obstructing justice.

Const. Michael Taylor, also charged in the original incident, faces no new charges.

When Tran appeared in court, police presented the case as open and shut. One officer alleged he saw a driver run a red light and pulled him over at a parking lot in Chinatown East. He testified when he approached the car he noticed white powder spilled on the console and found a baggie of heroin behind the steering wheel.

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But Tran told a very different story. He testified he did not run a red light, but said he was being followed by another officer who had previously arrested him.

The drug charge was stayed after Ontario Superior Court Judge Edward Morgan found major inconsistencies in the stories of the officers that testified. Morgan found two officers “concocted a false story” and didn’t disagree with the defence that police orchestrated the stop.

“I conclude from all of this that the loose heroin was placed on the console of the Toyota by the police after their search, and was not left there by the defendant prior to the search,” Morgan ruled.

“This police misconduct outweighs the roughly 12 grams of heroin found by the police. That quantity of drugs is, of course, a serious matter; but the misconduct evidenced here is entirely beyond anything that the courts can accept,” Morgan said in his ruling.

Three of the officers work at 55 Division and one works at 51 Division.

Tout, 41, has 17 years of service and now faces four counts of obstructing justice and three counts of perjury.

Elliot, 32, has nine years of service and faces three counts of obstructing justice and one count of perjury.

Douglas, 37, has 14 years of service and faces three counts of obstructing justice and two counts of perjury.

Taylor, 34, has 11 years of service and faces two counts of obstructing justice and one count of perjury.