Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Gang link used to send man to Chile

Lawyer argues deportation order unjust

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A few short months ago Alejandro Chung walked out of court a free man, the beneficiary of a legal technicality that saw a high-profile drug prosecution tossed out of court.

Monday night in Winnipeg, Chung, 43, was put on a plane back to his native Chile as part of a unique deportation order.

Federal officials ordered Chung's expulsion on the grounds he is a known associate of a criminal organization, the Hells Angels.

Winnipeg immigration lawyer David Matas is fighting to overturn the government's decision, claiming it is unjust. He has filed court documents challenging the removal order.

No hearing date has been set.

"If he's successful, he would be returned to Canada at the government's expense," Matas told the Free Press on Tuesday, just hours before his client was removed from the country.

"He's never been a full member of the Hells Angels. He's got this hang-around status, which they used to obtain the removal order."

His father, Oscar Chung, believes his son is being unfairly punished because of his peers. The family came to Canada as political refugees 30 years ago, with the majority now residing in British Columbia.

Alejandro Chung attended John Taylor Collegiate as a teen, where his father claims he made some shadowy friends who lured him into their world.

"These guys took the wrong path," Oscar Chung said in a telephone interview from B.C. He planned to fly to Toronto today to meet up with his son and join him on the rest of the journey back to Chile.

"He has no family in Chile. They're all in Winnipeg and B.C.," he said.

The elder Chung said police constantly harassed his son during his time in Winnipeg because of his affiliations with people involved in "guns and drugs."

"But he never did that," he insists.

Alejandro Chung made headlines earlier this year when a judge said police trampled on his civil rights during an October 2009 raid of his Portage Avenue store, La Mota, which sold drug-related paraphernalia.

Chung was caught with cocaine and benzocaine, a common agent in the drug-production business, and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

He was set free when Queen's Bench Justice Doug Abra ruled officers committed an illegal search and seizure, and dismissed the evidence.

"The police misconduct was blatant and serious. The two officers flagrantly disregarded the accused's rights under the charter," Abra wrote.

"If I permit the drugs, the paraphernalia and other seized items into evidence, I will be condoning wilful and flagrant breaches by the authorities of the accused's rights."

Police admitted bursting inside Chung's business without a warrant, believing they had stumbled across a break-and-enter in progress. An officer told court he spotted an unoccupied vehicle running outside the property that was flagged in the police system as belonging to Chung.

The two officers called for backup but didn't wait. Instead, they walked through a partially opened door and entered the premises where they saw Chung with a "white substance" around his lips. They ordered him to the floor, handcuffed and searched him.

Abra said the officers had "no authority to enter the premises" or to subsequently search Chung's pockets, which revealed a bag of cocaine.

They also found a duffel bag containing benzocaine on a nearby shelf.

Police obtained a search warrant after the arrest.

"They were trespassers. Furthermore, they had no legal grounds to manhandle and handcuff the accused in the manner they did. To the contrary, in my view, the conduct of the two officers was overzealous, high-handed and unjustified," Abra wrote.

Chung faced deportation if convicted, although his removal would have been delayed until after he finished serving his sentence.

Now, it turns out the acquittal did him no favours, as justice officials only strengthened their resolve to get him out of Canada quickly.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 14, 2012 A4

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