Durham resident and York cop charged with fabricating evidence after an alleged false claim of spotting drugs prior to a search


Published April 20, 2022 at 1:06 pm

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A York Regional Police officer and Durham Region resident is up on charges of fabricating evidence at a traffic stop when the officer allegedly lied about seeing drugs in a car prior to a search.

The officer stopped a car in Markham in October 2021, removed the driver and passenger from the car and searched the vehicle. He found cocaine in the passenger’s purse, police say.

After the search, the officer allegedly claimed he spotted cannabis and cocaine in the car, which served as probable cause to examine the vehicle. However, there was no physical evidence of drugs in the car, and no other officers backed up his claim, according to a YRP news release.

Other YRP officers came forward to their supervisor with this information. Following the report, the YRP Professional Standards Bureau launched an internal investigation.

Ultimately James Nesbitt, 24 from Durham Region was charged with fabrication of evidence, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. He will appear in a Newmarket courtroom on May 25.

In accordance with Ontario law, he is currently suspended with pay. Nesbitt has worked with YRP since 2019 in #5 District, which monitors Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

“I am deeply disappointed by this violation of the public trust, however, I am very proud of and commend those officers who came forward to report their concerns to their supervisors,” said Chief Jim MacSween.

“We rely on all members to hold themselves and their peers to the highest standard, in keeping with our values, one of which is courage. This is our value statement. Courage: We have the moral strength to stand up and to do what is right. These officers did just that.” MacSween added commending the officers.

“As a result, this officer is now facing serious criminal charges and will be held accountable for his actions,” MacSween said. “Those actions, in no way, are a reflection of the dedicated and hard-working members of York Regional Police, who keep our community safe every day.”

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