October 24th, 2020

Drug-smuggling trial adjourned for a year


By Shurtz, Delon on April 1, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The trial for a 42-year-old man accused of drug smuggling in 2017 has been adjourned for a year.

Kuldeep Singh was scheduled to begin an eight-day trial last week on charges of drug smuggling and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. The trial has been adjourned, however, to March 29, 2021, in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.

The charges stem from an incident at the Coutts border Dec. 17, 2017, when officers with the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a commercial vehicle hauling produce from California to an Alberta business.

While examining the vehicle, officers found 17 bricks of suspected cocaine weighing 21 kilograms, enough for more than 20,000 hits, an official reported. The bricks were discovered in a closet inside the cab of the truck.

A trial for two other people facing unrelated yet identical charges from 2017 is also no longer running in April and May as scheduled.

Although potential jurors were notified of the pending trial in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, it was later cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man and woman hauling a commercial load of produce from California to Alberta were stopped at the Coutts border Dec. 2, 2017.

Border officers searched the cab of the truck and found 84 bricks of cocaine weighing 99 kilograms, considered the largest cocaine seizure recorded by the Canada Border Services Agency in Alberta’s history.

RCMP reported the drugs were worth between$6.5 million and $8 million on the street depending on how they’re broken down for sale. A media spokesperson for the CBSA said the drugs would provide on the street between 100,000 and 200,000 hits.

The shipment was destined for the Calgary area, RCMP said, but the drugs likely would have been shipped to other provinces once they were processed.

Gurminder and Kirandeep Toor are charged with drug smuggling and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. A new trial date has not been scheduled, but the matter is set to be spoken to later this month.

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