Canada

Trial underway for California couple charged with drug possession at Coutts Border Crossing

A judge and jury trial is underway in Lethbridge for a couple charged in relation to what the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency called a record drug bust at the Coutts Border Crossing in 2017.

Gurminder Toor and Kirandeep Toor, both from California, were charged after nearly 100 kilograms, or more than 200 pounds, of suspected cocaine was found during an inspection of a commercial truck.

The truck was hauling a load of produce from California to a business in Alberta. Law enforcement said while searching the cab of the vehicle, officers opened a microwave and found bricks of a suspected narcotic. Further search of the cab found a total of 84 bricks.

RCMP said the street value of the drugs recovered ranges from $6.7 to $8.4 million.

The Toors are on trial for importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

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Read more: 12 guns seized at Coutts border crossing

After jury selection Monday morning, a Canadian Border Services Agency officer was the first to take the stand. He was working at the Coutts crossing at the time of the bust.

The officer testified that after running the couple’s documents while they attempted to enter the country, a customs “look-out” popped up on his computer screen, flagging the driver, alleged to be Gurminder Toor, for additional screening by officers.

He then searched the cab of the semi and testified to opening the microwave in the truck and finding bricks of what he believed to be narcotics.

The trial is slated to run for 10 days with the Crown hoping to wrap its case sometime this week.

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