A Toronto police officer is facing legal and employment consequences after he tampered with evidence in a drug case resulting in the release of seven suspects.
At the end of January, 36-year-old Vittorio Dominelli, an officer with the Toronto police for 13 years, was part of a team carrying out a raid on a marijuana shop that was under investigation for running an illegal operation. While they were collecting evidence, Dominelli retained three chocolate candy bars containing cannabis oil that he saw had been left out of the collection bag.
After the raid, Dominelli and his partner that evening went out for a bite to eat and he confided in her about stealing the candy bars. He additionally told her that he felt like he should throw them away while they were at the restaurant, but they ultimately decided that it would not be safe to get rid of them in a place that is accessible to the public.
Dominelli and his partner then reportedly disclosed to one another that neither of them had ever used marijuana. Dominelli decided he would utilize the opportunity to give it a try and his partner allegedly joined him.
The packaging on the chocolate bar instructed that a person consuming it should start with a small amount and wait before 40 minutes before eating more in order find a comfortable dose, but the wrapper that once contained the 8-piece hazelnut-flavored chocolate was discovered empty when the authorities found it.
After about 20 minutes, Dominelli, who thought he would only feel relaxed, was so wasted from the chocolate that he began to sweat, his heart felt like it was beating irregularly, and he believed he might die.
He used his partner’s radio to call for medical assistance, telling them that he felt dizzy and as if he was in danger of losing consciousness, but he didn’t disclose the reason for his feeling that way.
An ambulance transported Dominelli and his partner to the hospital where he started to feel better after vomiting.
Because the evidence was compromised, seven of the suspects from the drug raid had the charges against them dropped.
Dominelli, his legal defense, and the prosecution were all in agreement that what he had done was not a smart move, and the judge believed she was issuing the proverbial straight dope when saying that he was a “complete idiot” regarding the situation.
He entered a guilty plea to the charges against him for attempting to obstruct justice, and Dominelli, who resigned from his position as an officer, was remorseful for what he had done. He is currently waiting to learn his ordered sentence for the event.
The constable with Dominelli the night of the incident is also facing charges based on the suspicion that she joined him in the incident and tampered with the edible evidence. Though she continues to receive her paycheck, she has been suspended from working due to the allegations.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.