July 19th, 2024

Accused smuggler pleads not guilty

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 25, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Calgary man accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the country late last year has pleaded not guilty to several charges.

An agent for the accused’s lawyer, Sean Fagan of Calgary, entered the pleas on behalf of Kamalpreet Singh Friday during a brief hearing in Lethbridge court of justice. The agent also told court Singh has chosen to be tried in the lower court.

On Nov. 19, 2023 Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers discovered 52 kilograms of cocaine during a secondary examination of a commercial truck and trailer that arrived at the Coutts border crossing. The drugs, worth about $3 million, were seized from the trailer and the case was referred to the Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) for further investigation.

IBET is a joint force operation between the RCMP, CBSA and Calgary Police Service.

“As a result of the strong working relationship between agencies in this joint force operation, we successfully disrupted the importation and trafficking of harmful drugs into Canada,” RCMP Supt. Sean Boser said in a statement following the drug bust.

Singh, 28, is charged with importing drugs, drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, and smuggling.

“The safety and security of Canadians is our government’s top priority,” Janalee Bell-Boychuk, CBSA regional director general, said in the news release.

“By stopping illegal drugs at the border, we’re reducing the risk of harm to Canadians and keeping our communities safe.”

CPS Supt. Cory Dayley agreed, and said collaboration between law enforcement agencies is critical in the fight against drugs.

“Working together, we have prevented another large quantity of illicit drugs from reaching our city and communities across Alberta, which in turn has prevented criminal activity associated with the drug trade,” Dayley said. “This continued success proves how important our partnership is to maintaining safety for all Albertans.”

During Singh’s court hearing, the judge was told a pretrial conference will be scheduled to discuss issues related to the case, and the matter was adjourned to July 4, ostensibly to set a multi-day trial.

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Kumbaya. We are all working together. You’re not the problem, the problem is the judicial system.

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