Accused in Coutts drug smuggling case continues search for lawyer

By Patrick Burles - Lethbridge News Now
February 11, 2018 - 8:30am

LETHBRIDGE -  A 39-year-old Calgary man who was arrested late last year at the Coutts border crossing entering Canada, has been granted a second lengthy adjournment as he continues to search for a lawyer.

Kuldeep Singh appeared in person Thursday, Feb. 8, represented by duty counsel – who assists those without legal representation.

They explained that Singh needed a longer than usual adjournment, as he is still working to retain defence counsel. With the consent of the Crown prosecutor – who noted that it’s important for Singh to find a lawyer, as the charges are very serious – the case was adjourned to Mar. 8.

That follows a first adjournment that gave Singh from Dec. 21 to today's date.

The charges stem from a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) search of a commercial vehicle that was transporting produce from California to an Alberta business on Dec. 17, 2017. Officers reported finding 17 bricks of suspected cocaine with a total weight of 21 kilograms inside a closet area in the cab of the truck.

The driver and suspected drugs were then turned over to the RCMP, and Singh was charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Authorities noted that if the suspected cocaine had been street ready, it would have been enough for over 20,000 hits. They were not able to provide an estimated street value at the time.

Singh is currently free on bail, with conditions that he report weekly to police.

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