AMHERST – A series of drug charges against an Athol man who says he’s exiled in Europe have been withdrawn.
Rickey Logan Simpson, 62, was charged with the production of cannabis marijuana, possession of cannabis marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of cannabis marijuana and possession of cannabis resin following a raid of his Athol Road home in November 2009.
Simpson was in Amsterdam, Holland accepting the Freedom Fighter of the Year Award at the annual Cannabis Cup when the raid occurred and it’s believe he has been in Europe since then.
Crown attorney Doug Shatford said the court approved a forfeiture application against Simpson under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act last week. Once that occurred, he brought forward a motion to withdraw the charges against Simpson, who declared himself an exile in Europe after the 2009 raid.
“The application was made to forfeit the items that were seized in the raid and upon completion of that the decision was made to withdraw the charges,” Shatford said Friday.
Under the order, Simpson forfeits cannabis marijuana and resin seized in the raid along with growing equipment, marijuana plants and seeds, syringes, three crossbows and arrows, two pellet guns – including one with scope and suspected silencer, grow up materials, video equipment, books, documents and building materials.
Shatford said one the issues facing the court was Simpson’s whereabouts.
“We’re really not sure where he is. We believe he is somewhere in Europe. He had been in Holland, but we’re not sure if he’s still there or somewhere else in Europe,” Shatford said.
Withdrawing the charges would appear to clear the way for Simpson to return to Canada. Shatford is not aware of any other outstanding charges against him.
In December 2009, Simpson said via email he could not return to Canada because he would be put in jail “without jail or medicine.”
He said he’s not afraid of jail, but could not go without his medicine. To him, returning to Canada “would be like committing suicide.”
Simpson said he grew the marijuana plants, extracted the oil, and provided it free of charge. He said he has never hidden his activities from police. After he was convicted in 2007, he told the judge he would not stop.