A Toronto police officer who stole and ate a marijuana-laced chocolate bar seized during a pot-shop raid was a “complete idiot” for tampering with evidence, a judge said Friday as the man pleaded guilty in the case.
Vittorio Dominelli, a 36-year-old constable who resigned from the force this week, pleaded guilty to attempting to obstruct justice in connection with the January incident.
Justice Mary Misener, who presided over the case, said Dominelli’s actions were on the low end of the spectrum when it came to evidence tampering, but were nonetheless significant.
“From the point of view of public interest, the impact is profound,” she said. “The conduct here you cannot describe as anything other than stupid.”
Misener added that the fact that Dominelli had taken a marijuana-infused item was not the issue.
“He might have taken cough syrup or a pair of woolly comfortable socks that he wanted to try on his feet,” she said. “It’s interfering with evidence.”
Dominelli, the son of a longtime Toronto officer and a father of three, was part of a team that raided an illegal marijuana dispensary around 5 p.m. on Jan. 27, according to an agreed statement of facts read out in court by Crown attorney Philip Perlmutter.
The officer, armed and dressed in plainclothes, agreed to go get pizza for the squad as they were going through the pot shop, court heard. While walking out of the store, Dominelli saw several cannabis-oil-infused chocolate bars, which he pocketed.
He and his partner, Const. Jamie Young, went to a nearby pizza place where Dominelli began to have second thoughts about taking the chocolate bars, Perlmutter said.
Dominelli told Young about his reservations and wanted to leave the bars at the pizza place but his partner disagreed with his idea, court heard.