|Drug squad officer Ned Maodus seen earlier in his trial. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency files)
TORONTO -- Toronto drug squad officers facing the prospect jail time for their crimes are "marked men" inside prison, a lawyer told Superior Court Wednesday.
"Their faces are well known on TV, in newspapers and on the Internet ... It wouldn't surprise me if their faces are being circulated in prison as we speak," defence lawyer Earl Levy told Justice Gladys Pardu during a sentencing hearing.
Levy represents Raymond Pollard, one of the five elite Central Field Command officers convicted earlier this year of attempting to obstruct justice.
Pollard, his boss John Schertzer, Joseph Miched, Steve Correia and Ned Maodus conducted an illegal search of a Toronto heroin dealer's apartment in February 1998.
They searched the unit without a warrant and then lied to cover it up, the jury found. Three officers were also convicted of perjury.
The Crown is seeking a four-year prison sentence for Schertzer and three-year terms for each of the other four Toronto cops.
Lawyers for the officers have argued that their clients should receive suspended sentences. They insisted the former officers -- only Correia remains on active duty -- have suffered enough with abundant publicity portraying them as "rogue police cowboys" and "dirty cops."
"This is not a rogue squad, but they fight that stigma every day," Levy said.
All of the officers -- including Maodus, who accumulated three unrelated convictions while awaiting trial -- will be treated as first offenders, court heard.
Maodus, 49, is now receiving a disability pension after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder from injuries suffered as a police officer.
He resigned from the service in 2008 after 19 years on the job.
Miched, who had an unblemished record as an officer, was in line for a promotion when the investigation overtook his life, his lawyer Peter Brauti said.
He was demoted from a position he loved as an investigator to a paper-pushing post at the Collision Reporting Centre in 2000, Brauti said. He toiled there until he retired after 25 years on the job in October 2003.
Miched, who is now working as a car salesman, could lose his job if he receives anything more than a suspended sentence, his lawyer said.
The hearing resumes Thursday.