Nova Scotia “dirty cop” sentenced to 10 years for drug trafficking
In 2015, Inspector David Astephen received an urgent text message from drug-dealer, Mike Kanasevich, informing him of a “dirty cop.”
The dirty cop was former Nova Scotia Mountie Sgt. Craig Burnett who today was given a 10 year prison sentence.
According to CTV News, Burnett was found guilty of the theft of a total of 10 kilogrammes of cocaine from an evidence locker. From the sale of the cocaine, Burnett earned 100,000 from its sale which he used to pay off debt and to buy a $17,000 motorcycle.
CTV reporter Natasha Pace commented that “the courtroom was packed” for Burnett’s appearance.
In today’s decision, Justice James Chipman said the cocaine passed from Burnett to his friend and businessman, Scott Rowlings. The cocaine was sold by Kanasevich.
Both of Burnett’s accomplices would become informants for the RCMP, and were granted immunity by the court. Kanasevich was given a substantial reward of $200,000 and Rowlings had his court fees covered.
Burnett’s trial lasted 21 days. The title of the intensive operation orchestrated to gather evidence against him was “Operation Handshake.”
With all the court’s proceedings considered, Chipman concluded Burnett “was able to do this because of his intimate knowledge of the shipment in question, coupled with his understanding of the exhibit storage deficiencies … at the RCMP Oxford Street headquarters.”
Burnett is believed to have been motivated by a difficult divorce, prior to the crime, which left him in need of money.
“[He] took on the matrimonial debt in order to preserve his pension. As a single father to two children, then about 13 and 11, there would have been financial challenges living as he did on his sergeant’s salary,” said justice Chipman.
Despite Burnett’s sympathetic case, he was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of “theft over $5,000, trafficking cocaine, laundering the proceeds of crime, obstructing police, fabricating evidence and two counts of breach of trust.”
Former beleaguered, Nova Scotia Premier, Gerald Regan passed away this week at the age of 71. Regan could have spent his final years in prison after multiple historic allegations of sexual abuse were prosecuted in the mid 1990s, which many thought should have resulted in convictions.
His highly publicized trial resulted in acquittal but many of the charges against him were stayed and never reached court. As a result, his acquittals have little effect on the public perception that he was guilty and got away with it because his lawyer was the legendary, also now deceased, Eddie Greenspan.
One of the problems with allegations of a sexual nature is that any acquittal is deemed a failure of the “justice system” and the accused can never shake the suspicion that they are guilty. Certainly, the volume of accusations against Mr. Regan were substantial.
Unfortunately, for both the accused and the complainants, the investigation was tainted by abuse of process by one of the prosecutors so the complainants’ evidence in many of the allegations were deemed unsound.
Having charges thrown out of court without trial did nothing to help Regan clear his name and the improper conduct prevented many complainants from having their day in court. This speaks to the importance of proper investigations, not only to ensure the constitutional rights of an accused but to spare complainants from further distress.
That said, it hardly seems fair to put a dead man back on trial in the court of public opinion after he survived the court process without any finding of guilt. Whatever Mr. Regan did or did not do, the proper time for airing the continued public opinion should not be during the emotionally raw moments while his innocent family members are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Perhaps Gerald Regan was someone only his wife and children could love. Perhaps. But they should be allowed to grieve without seeing him retried post-mortem with no possibility of defending himself.
Thousands of cyber victims around the world, say RCMP after Canadian charged in malware investigation
There could be thousands of malware victims in multiple countries say RCMP after they charged software developer and former IT professional John Paul Revesz on Nov. 8 under Section 342.1 of the Criminal Code – a vague hybrid offence for unauthorized use of a computer.
RCMP’s National Division Cybercrime Investigative Team aren’t saying much about Revesz except that they believe he orchestrated an “international malware scheme under the company name ‘Orcus Technologies'” following an investigation that spanned more than three years.
“This case highlights the importance of partnerships with law enforcement agencies and private sector organizations,” said the RCMP in a press release that noted police initiated their investigation in July 2016 “after reports of a significant amount of computers… infected with a ‘Remote Access Trojan’ type of virus.”
RCMP did not respond to The Post Millennial‘s queries, in particular if any additional charges were expected and what took them so long to track down Revesz, after a July 21, 2016 article by former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs essentially outed the alleged perp.
According to Krebs’ story, he was tipped off by cyber security consultant Daniel Gallagher after a Twitter battle with Revesz, involving other malware researchers on ethics and legalities of peddling an application that gave users the ability to take control of another computer, then coaching clients how to use it.
In what’s left of the Twitter thread – John Paul Revesz’ purported allias Ciriis mcGraw has since deleted his side of the conversation – some humour belies the seriousness of Revesz’ alleged activities.
“Can you give me an example where disabling a user’s webcam light might be acceptable use?” asks Gallager sarcastically in the thread.
Another writes: “As we know all legitimate software vendors sell on hackforums”.
Like others in the security business, Gallagher is not anxious for publicity, at least beyond his Twitter following and like the RCMP, did not respond to TPM‘s queries for this story.
With the cloak-and-dagger, shroud of mystery surrounding this oddball case, TPM reached out to the accused Revesz, who obliged.
In a lengthy Facebook conversation with Revesz, he marks the Twitter debate with Gallager et al. as ground zero for two events: shoring up protocols on Orcus to protect user and client, thereby bolstering the software’s legitimacy, and Krebs for sparking the entire investigation by running to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“I can tell you exactly how this started: Twitter argument (with Gallagher et al.), they contact Krebs, who in turn contacted the FBI. The FBI contact the RCMP, and that’s how this all started,” claimed Revesz.
Revesz also said he was just the marketing side of the Orcus application business, based on “software” that was “solely developed” by a business partner Revesz declined to name.
Revesz told TPM that he imagined such an idea while working as a Systems administrator for TD Bank, a job he held more than 10 years ago.
“Orcus was for legal, legitimate Systems administrators to easily access and manage their client computers within their network,” said Revesz.
The Torontonian said he plans to fight the charges and that he doesn’t expect any additional charges, despite the hybrid nature of the criminal code offence.
“It comes down to Legal definition. Was Orcus a Remote Administrative Tool, or a Trojan? And secondly, where is the line drawn from legal software, to malware?” said Revesz who compared Orcus to a brick.
“If I pick up a brick and bludgeon someone with it, who is at fault? The brick maker or me for misusing the brick?”
Krebs, who publishes on his eponymous KrebsOnSecurity.com, told TPM that malware of the sort Revesz peddles is traded in online Hacker forums, and dismissed the claim he went to the FBI.
“Anything you want to know is in my stories… I’m not sure there is more I can say about this guy.”
According to Krebs’ latest story on the charge against Revesz, Australian police executed their search warrants coinciding with RCMP warrant on Revesz, in March of 2019.
“Several former customers of (Revesz) took to Hackforums[.]net to complain about being raided by investigators who are trying to track down individuals suspected of using Orcus to infect computers with malware,” writes Krebs.
“‘I got raided [and] within the first 5 minutes they mention Orcus to me,’ complained one customer.”
In a brief interview with TPM, Krebs said typical Orcus clients are individuals, and as he reported in July of 2016, such applications are being created by those who “think they can get away with writing, selling and supporting malicious software and then couching their commerce as a purely legitimate enterprise.”
The cyber security journalist called Revesz’ brick-argument “pretty weak” and likened Orcus business model to selling lock picks then “supporting thieves who are having trouble using them to steal stuff.”
“I can’t take credit for that, but I thought it was pretty funny,” Krebs said of a description he read on social media.
In the July 5 Twitter thread that Revesz cages as seminal to his current legal woes, Malware Tech, aka Marcus Hitchens, makes a similar argument.
And like lock picks, Krebs said Orcus-type malware “isn’t terribly sophisticated in terms of the programming that goes into them, but the functionality of them can be extraordinarily sophisticated.”
“The point is, once you get something like this on a machine, you can control it and do what (the computer owner) can do.”
Other cases involving section 342.1 of the Criminal Code–unauthorized use of computers–indicate its broad application.
Most recently, it formed part of espionage charges against RCMP Cameron Ortis. It’s also been used to prosecute people who use computers or mobile devices to lure children, as well as election tampering cases involving robocalls that provided voters incorrect or deceiving information.
Sometimes you get a whole lot more than you wanted.
According to two Nova Scotian parents from Coldbrook, their child received a candy that looked like cannabis-based edibles.
In response, Police are investigating the area, including running tests on the product and searching for other kids who may have received edibles while trick-or-treating.
According to the Mounties, the parents found a Halloween-themed package containing several jujube-style candies.
“We’re having the item analyzed to make sure what is actually in it,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, an RCMP spokeswoman, based in Halifax.
According to the parent, the central location of where the candy came from will be hard to determine, as the kids visited homes in Cambridge, Kentville and Coldbrook.
While the idea of edibles in Halloween candy is exceptionally worrying, after further investigation, Police have said that no other child received edible cannabis while trick-or-treating.
The presence of consumable marijuana products in Halloween candy comes at a precarious time as edible items made with THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in Marijuana, became legal for adults nationwide only this October.
While the product has become legal, due to the regulatory process, no merchandise is expected to hit the Canadian legal market until December at the earliest.
Former Bridgewater police chief John Collyer has been found guilty of sexual exploitation involving a 17-year-old girl.
Collyer was found guilty on October 24 by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Mona Lynch. She also convicted Collyer of sexual assault, issuing a conditional stay as there is a rule against multiple convictions for a single criminal act.
The 26-year old veteran had denied the accusation and pleaded not guilty. He was originally suspended in May 2017 after “the independent police watchdog charged him with one count of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation,” reports CBC. Before that, he had been put on administrative leave in August 2016 after Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team began their investigation of the alleged assault.
The complainant testified that Collyer had asked her inappropriate questions in May 2016 while he drove before putting his hand between her legs and sexually assaulting her.
“I think it shows the courage and the bravery that the complainant and her family had to actually come forward and see this through,” Crown attorney Roland Levesque said.
“They’re in a very small community where they’re confronting one of the persons in that community who has a very high office and has a great, great deal of power.”
Collyer will be officially sentenced on March 4, 2020. He will remain free on various conditions until then.