Sentencing hearing date set in major cocaine importing case

Click to play video: 'Sentence hearing date set for major cocaine importing case'
Sentence hearing date set for major cocaine importing case
A new date for a sentencing hearing is now set for the California couple at the centre of a large cocaine bust at the Coutts border crossing four years ago. Erik Bay has the latest. – Dec 3, 2021

Gurminder and Kirandeep Toor’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled for the new year, after the Crown cross examined Kirandeep’s doctor.

The husband and wife from California were found guilty by a jury in April of importing 99 kilograms of cocaine after the drug was discovered in their commercial truck at the Coutts border crossing.

The hearing was originally set for Nov. 26, but was pushed after a note provided by the doctor revealed Kirandeep is pregnant and unable to travel from Edmonton.

On Friday, Dr. Tania Thapar clarified her writing, saying Kirandeep is experiencing symptoms including nausea, vomiting and lower back pain, which can be symptoms of the pregnancy.

Read more: Prosecution seeks clarity on new information in Toor cocaine importing case

She testified long car rides, which Thapar defined as “longer than an hour” with these issues could cause Kirandeep to lose fluids and pose a risk to the pregnancy.

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Thapar added that those issues can be more severe in the first trimester of pregnancy and is why she recommended Kirandeep not travel until February.

The crown asked if taking breaks and drinking fluids during a trip could mitigate any potential issues posed by long-distance travel, but Thapar said she couldn’t guarantee it would help.

The physician has prescribed medication to treat the nausea and vomiting, but says her client tells her it’s not improving the symptoms.

Read more: California couple charged with smuggling drugs across Coutts border takes stand at trial

The two had been hauling produce from California into Alberta. Law enforcement said when searching the cab of their vehicle, officers opened a microwave and found bricks of what they suspected to be a narcotic.

A total of 84 bricks were discovered with an estimated street value between $6.7 million and $8.4 million. At the time, RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency called it a record drug bust for the Coutts border crossing.

Click to play video: 'Record drug seizure at Alberta border crossing nets 84 bricks of suspected cocaine'
Record drug seizure at Alberta border crossing nets 84 bricks of suspected cocaine

Both Gurminder and Kirandeep were found guilty of importing a controlled substance, with Gurminder also found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

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Kirandeep was found guilty on the lesser charge of simple drug possession.

The sentencing hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 6, with Kirandeep appearing virtually from a court room in Edmonton, unless she is deemed fit to travel before that date.

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