October 30th, 2020

Man pleads not guilty to drug smuggling charges


By Shurtz, Delon on June 5, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Calgary man accused of trying to smuggle $3 million worth of drugs into Alberta, is set to stand trial later this fall, more than a year after he was charged with smuggling and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The case was in Lethbridge provincial court Thursday, where Calgary lawyer Allan Fay pleaded not guilty to both charges on behalf of his client 41-year-old Asif Mir.

Fay told court Mir has chosen to be tried by a provincial court judge, and a three-day trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

The Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP reported last year that on July 28, 2019 CBSA officers referred a commercial driver entering Canada at the Coutts border crossing for further examination. While searching his vehicle officers uncovered 33 bags of methamphetamine weighing about 50 kilograms. The meth, which was found in a box and large duffel bag, was seized, along with the vehicle, and the driver was arrested and turned over to the RCMP.

Some of the bags, each weighing 1.5 kilograms, were dusted with a reddish-orange powder, believed to be a spice and meant to throw sniffer dogs off the scent, a CBSA official said.

The following day RCMP charged Mir, and on Aug. 1, during his first court appearance in Lethbridge, he was released from custody on $1,000 cash bail and several conditions, including he not possess any firearms or other weapons and he surrender his passport to the RCMP.

The CBSA reported the bust, equal to about 500,000 doses, is the largest seizure of meth made by the agency in Alberta.

The CBSA at Coutts also seized a record amount of cocaine for the area when officers intercepted 99.5 kg cocaine and 21 kg of cocaine in separate incidents in December 2017.

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