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Trial begins for 2 men accused in fentanyl-laced cocaine deaths in Saskatoon

Trial begins for 2 men accused in fentanyl-laced cocaine deaths in Saskatoon
WATCH ABOVE: Court proceedings for two men accused of dealing deadly cocaine laced with fentanyl have taken an unexpected turn.

The trial for two men accused of dealing deadly cocaine laced with fentanyl began Tuesday in Saskatoon provincial court after some charges against a third co-accused were withdrawn.

Shervin Beeharry, 20, and Japmanjot Grewal, 22, pleaded not guilty to numerous drug trafficking and weapons offences arising from overdoses police said killed four and hospitalized three others.

READ MORE: Man accused of manslaughter in Saskatoon fatal overdose case released again

The pair was originally scheduled for a preliminary hearing, but lawyers proceeded with a provincial court trial after charges against co-accused Azam Kabani, 20, were withdrawn Friday.

In February, Beeharry, Grewal and Kabani were charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

The ongoing judge-alone trial is strictly on drug trafficking and weapons allegations. Kabani’s manslaughter and criminal negligence charges were not withdrawn.

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Kabani remains out on bail.

At the beginning of the trial, the defence sought to question the author of the search warrant application that allowed police to raid a home on Pawlychenko Lane in Saskatoon.

Defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle, who represents Beeharry, said he plans to argue the warrant should not have been granted based on information from police.

READ MORE: 3 men charged in 4 drug overdose deaths in Saskatoon

According to police, the search yielded over $14,000 cash, more than 10 grams of a cocaine-fentanyl mix, nearly 150 grams of cocaine and over 30 grams of heroin. A gun and bullets were also seized.

Voir dire arguments are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.