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Ex-Mountie not on storage locker access list, says lawyer

Craig Robert Burnett charged with drug theft, trafficking

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caption Craig Robert Burnett appeared in court Wednesday.
Kathleen Jones

Former RCMP officer Craig Robert Burnett’s name was not on a list of people who had access to an evidence storage locker that contained cocaine, court heard Wednesday.

Burnett’s attorney, David J. Bright, showed RCMP witness Sgt. David Legge a printed list in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Burnett has been accused of stealing 10 kilograms of cocaine from an RCMP exhibit locker between 2010 and 2011. The Crown alleges he gave the drugs to his friend Scott Rowlings, who then gave it to Michael Kanasevich to sell. Both Rowlings and Kanasevich became informants in the case.

Legge testified Wednesday he assumed the cocaine would have been moved into the storage locker after the sea containers it was in were destroyed. Legge was a lead investigator in Operation Handshake, which led to Burnett’s arrest in 2016.

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When cross-examined by Bright, Legge confirmed that Burnett’s name was not on the list of people who had access to the locker.

Legge said in court the key holders who had “access to disarm the alarm panels” did not necessarily have full recollection of everyone who had ever accessed the locker.

Second witness overheard conversation

The court also heard testimonial from Colin Lester, a former employee of Rowlings at the service station Rowlings owned in Musquodoboit. He testified that in 2016 he overheard Rowlings and Burnett having a conversation behind the station, but didn’t know what was said.

Burnett faces seven charges, including stealing cocaine valued at more than $5,000, two breaches of trust, transfer of property that was a result of an offence, trafficking a substance, obstructing a police officer by counselling a witness to lie and intent to mislead.

The Crown is expected to present its final witnesses on Thursday, while the defence is expected to call its first witness Friday. The judge-only trial began Jan. 21.

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