October 24th, 2020

New trial date set for drug-smuggling suspect


By Shurtz, Delon on August 26, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A new trial has finally been set for a northern Alberta man accused of trying to smuggle cocaine through the Carway border crossing more than two years ago.

Bradley Michael Gaudrault will stand trial March 15-26, 2021. The trial, which was announced Monday during a brief appearance in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench, will be heard in front of a judge and jury.

Following a preliminary hearing in December 2018, Gaudrault was committed to stand trial on charges of drug smuggling and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. A trial was subsequently set for June 1-12 of this year, but it was cancelled after COVID-19 struck.

Gaudrault was charged March 19, 2018 after a man arrived at the Carway border crossing south of Cardston and was caught with 31 kilograms of cocaine. That amount, border officials announced following Gaudrault’s arrest, was the largest seizure of drugs to date at the Carway Port of Entry.

“A very conservative estimate of this amount of cocaine, if sold at the gram level, could be worth anywhere between $1.4 million and $3.1 million, or more, depending on how it was mixed, cut and sold,” a police spokesman said at the time.

The Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP reported following the incident that officers examined an SUV and discovered a steel compartment under a panel. The compartment was locked from the inside and connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, and could only be opened by pressing a sequence of buttons on the vehicle console.

Officers drilled through the compartment and discovered white powder inside. A search of the vehicle revealed 31 one-kg bricks of cocaine, which, if street-ready, would produce 310,000 hits, reported Guy Rook, director for southern Alberta CBSA.

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