July 20th, 2024

Man waiting to face trial in drug bust

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 27, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 35-year-old man who was committed to stand trial more than a month ago in relation to a record drug bust in the city, is still waiting to set trial dates.

The case against Patrick Rodney Jr. was in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench Monday where he was to be arraigned and trial dates set. However, an agent for Calgary lawyer Gloria Froese told court the defence isn’t ready yet to take that step.

“Further to the completion of a preliminary inquiry, I understand that there are further dates to be scheduled,” Calgary lawyer Brad Kraus said. “Miss Froese requested some additional time simply to finish perfecting the forms required for that scheduling,”

Rodney was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in January in Lethbridge court of justice. Preliminary hearings are typically held to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.

Police reported in January of last year 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.

“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,” Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh said at a subsequent news conference.

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 matter is scheduled to return to court March 11 to scheduled trial dates.

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