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Unusual smuggling case back in St. John's court

Provincial court in St. John's
Provincial court in St. John's - SaltWire Network

Accused said to be carrying drugs, cellphone, charger and other items inside his own body

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Editor’s note: A correction has been made to this story upon learning that incorrect information had been provided to The Telegram by the court regarding Josh Ward-Frecker’s prior convictions.

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It’s a common hearing to see on the provincial court docket — an application to allow police to hold on a little longer to items seized as part of a criminal investigation.

In St. John's on Wednesday, one such application related to a cellphone and charger seized from a man who had brought it to court inside his body.

Josh Ward-Frecker had been convicted of break and entry with intent to commit a crime, theft under $5,000, traffic charges and multiple breaches of court orders. Having been released on bail until that point, he was taken into custody and, over the next two days, officers discovered he had been carrying a number of items inside a body cavity. Among them: what’s alleged to be small packages of pills, cocaine and marijuana, an older-model cellphone and the phone charger.

Ward-Frecker, 26, is now facing six counts of possessing a controlled drug or substance for the purpose of trafficking.

With a legal limit on the amount of time police can keep a person’s personal property after it’s been seized, they can apply under the Canadian criminal code to keep the items for longer if there’s an ongoing investigation or court case, or if the objects need further examination. The Crown has filed that application for Ward-Frecker’s cellphone and charger.

Ward-Frecker appeared by video from Springhill federal prison in Nova Scotia when his case was called Wednesday, and told the court he didn’t yet have a lawyer, though he intended to get one. Judge Mike Madden postponed the case for a month, to allow the accused some more time to make arrangements.

It’s possible that Ward-Frecker will be out of prison by then. He had been deemed released from custody on the drug charges though he was still serving his prior sentence, but told the court he has a parole hearing scheduled for today.

tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com
Twitter: @tara_bradbury
 

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