June 18th, 2024

Charges against suspected drug trafficker adjourned to new year

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 16, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The case against a 25-year-old Calgary man accused of trying to smuggle more than $5 million worth of cocaine into Alberta last month has been adjourned for several weeks while his lawyer waits to receive disclosure from the Crown’s office.

The matter for Jagroop Singh was in Lethbridge provincial court Thursday, but adjourned to Jan. 26 after an agent for the accused’s lawyer said defence was still waiting to receive disclosure and the Crown’s position in relation to dealing with the charges.

Singh is charged with single counts under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of drug importation and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

On Nov. 21 officers with the Canada Border Services Agency seized 53 kg of cocaine following a search of a commercial transport vehicle at the Coutts border crossing. The drugs, worth about $5.3 million on the street, were hidden within a shipment of produce and turned over to IBET, the Integrated Border Enforcement Team, for further investigation.

IBET is a joint force operation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and Calgary Police Service.

“I cannot overstate the contributions of each law enforcement partner represented in IBET,” Supt. Sean Boser of Federal Policing said in a news release following Singh’s arrest. “Together, we successfully prevented harmful drugs from entering Canada and harming our communities.”

Brad Wozny, regional director general for the CBSA, agreed and pointed out the safety and security of Canadians is the federal government’s top priority.

“By stopping illegal drugs at the border, we’re keeping our communities safe,” Wozny said. “This seizure is another great example of the ongoing cooperation between the CBSA, the RCMP and the Calgary Police Service in securing our borders.”

Singh is the second Calgary man to be charged with identical offences last month.

On Nov. 6 a commercial transport truck arrived at the border with a shipment of bananas. A secondary examination was initiated by border officials, who discovered 43 kg of cocaine hidden inside the load of fruit.

The following day, Gurkirat Singh, 26, of Calgary, was charged with single counts of importing drugs and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. His matter returns to court on Jan. 5, 2023.

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