By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 16, 2024.
A 35-year-old man accused in one of the city’s largest drug busts has been committed to stand trial on numerous weapons and drug-related charges.
Patrick Rodney Jr. was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing last week in Lethbridge court of justice. Preliminary hearings are typically held to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.
Although evidence heard during the hearing is subject to a publication ban, police reported last January that on Dec. 20, 2022 ALERT Lethbridge’s organized crime team and the Lethbridge Police Service seized more than $1 million worth of drugs and cash, after searching two vehicles, a home in the London Road area and a garage in the neighbourhood of Winston Churchill High School.
Police reportedly found four firearms, including a prohibited sawed-off shotgun and a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen from Redcliff, and they seized two vehicles, $79,000 in cash, and 5.2 kg of methamphetamine, 3.2 kg of cocaine, 1.6 kg of fentanyl powder, 418 grams of ketamine, and 35 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
“What you see before you today marks one of the largest drug busts in our city’s history,” Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh said at a news conference the following January.
“Over $1 million worth of drugs has been taken off our streets, which certainly will have a positive impact, not only on our citizens in Lethbridge, but also the citizens in many of our surrounding communities.”
Rodney is charged with five counts of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, two counts each of unlawful storage of a firearm, knowingly possessing a prohibited or restricted weapon, knowingly possessing an unauthorized firearm, possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition, and single counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, possession of a firearm obtained by crime, and possession of a prohibited weapon. He is also charged with breach of probation stemming from a firearm prohibition in 2014.
The accused is scheduled to be arraigned in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench on Feb. 26.