April 21st, 2024

Dates set for trial into record drug bust

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 13, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 35-year-old man accused in one of the city’s biggest drug busts is headed for trial, but not until next year.

Patrick Rodney Jr. is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 3-21, 2025. The trial, which was set Monday in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench, is also expected to include three days for a voir dire – a mini trial within a trial – typically required to determine the admissibility of statements to police or other evidence.

The matter also requires a brief pretrial conference to allow the Crown, defence and judge to discuss trial issues. The conference is scheduled for next month.

Rodney was ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in January in Lethbridge court of justice. Preliminary hearings are normally held to hear evidence and 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.

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