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Criminal defense: Drug bust in Alberta

Three people in Lethbridge have been arrested following a police raid officers say uncovered a litany of evidence pointing to a drug ring. Alberta law enforcement executed a search warrant in early March, resulting in three arrests. The individuals now face drug trafficking charges. It is unknown if they have retained criminal defense representation at this time. 

According to the police report, a search warrant was obtained for a private residence in West Lethbridge and was executed by officers on March 9. Police say they recovered nearly 30 pounds of what is believed to be marijuana, as well as 7 pounds of "magic mushrooms", over $120,000 in cash and almost 140 tabs of LSD. Police representatives made special mention of the LSD as it is an uncommon drug for the area. An SUV was also seized in the raid. 

The three individuals involved -- a 35-year-old man, a 31-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man -- are all facing charges pertaining to drug trafficking. This comes on the heels of a million-dollar drug bust conducted by local police just last month. Police say they hope their continued vigilance will send a message to would-be drug traffickers that their activities will not be tolerated. 

Of course, in criminal prosecutions, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Drug raids, even those conducted with a properly-executed search warrant, can be problematic in court. If Alberta police deviated from procedure in any way, it is possible that a criminal defense attorney could find cause to have evidence barred from the proceedings, potentially resulting in the reduction or even dismissal of charges against the accused. 

Source: CBC News, "Drug bust leads to trafficking charges against 3 in Lethbridge", March 16, 2017

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