Tue, July 6, 2004

Wiretap expert charged


THE RCMP have laid criminal charges against a senior OPP wiretap expert. OPP Det.-Sgt. John Cavanaugh of Orillia turned himself in to RCMP officers in Toronto yesterday and will appear at Old City Hall court tomorrow after being released on his own recognizance.

Cavanaugh is charged with two counts of perjury by allegedly misleading a court in March of 1999 and one count of attempting to obstruct the course of justice in a judicial proceeding from 1996 to 2003.

The charges related to allegations that the OPP officer lied under oath to obtain permission for wiretaps against four accused drug dealers who allegedly supplied Satan's Choice bikers.

During the September 2003 trial, Justice John MacDonald found that wiretaps used as evidence during the proceedings should have never been authorized because Cavanaugh took the law "into his own hands" and lied under oath to get wiretap authorizations.

As a result, charges against the four alleged drug dealers -- who allegedly supplied drugs to the Choice -- were dismissed.

"The OPP opened their organization up to our investigators in order to ensure that all of the allegations could be fully investigated," RCMP Insp. Don Panchuk said yesterday.