Abbotsford men guilty of drug charge; found in berry field near four bags of cocaine in 2009

Two Abbotsford men have been convicted for a 2009 incident in which they were found in a berry field near four bags of cocaine.

Abbotsford Police arrest one of two people found in a berry field near four bags of cocaine in September 2009. The pair have now been found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Two Abbotsford men have been convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking in connection with a 2009 incident in which they were found in a berry field near four cocaine-filled bags.

Sentencing for Randeep Match, 30, and Manindervir Virk, 23, will take place at a later date in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

Justice Brian Joyce found the pair guilty despite there being no direct forensic evidence linking them to the two duffel bags and two backpacks filled with cocaine that had been smuggled across the border.

However, Joyce said during his ruling on Thursday in Chilliwack that the circumstances of the case made it implausible that the drugs could have belonged to anyone else.

The court heard that a pilot of the Air One police helicopter, using a thermal imaging device, spotted three people running through a berry field in the area of Mt. Lehman Road and Zero Avenue – along the U.S.-Canada border. The area is known for border jumpers and is monitored regularly, Joyce said.

He said drug smuggling is also common, and involves “mules” – people paid to transport drugs – from the U.S. delivering the product to someone on the Canadian side. The bags used to carry the drugs are usually painted black.

The Air One pilot saw one of the men run south, while the other two headed north, reaching a property on Huntingdon Road.

An officer on the ground, with a police dog, Diego, was dispatched to the scene. Diego located the four bags, which were filled with 40 bricks of cocaine valued at between $1.4 million and $2 million.

Match and Virk were located in some bushes a distance away. The third person was not located.

Defence lawyers had argued that there was no proof the drugs belonged to the pair. But Joyce said the only other possible explanation would be that, coincidentally, someone else had left the four bags there at around the same time that Match and Virk were running through the berry field.

He said there was no “innocent explanation” for them to be at that location at that time of the night, running from police. The cocaine was in a quantity that would only be used for trafficking, he said.

“The accused were aware of the nature of the contents of the bag, given the circumstances,” Joyce concluded.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

OUR VIEW: Fox fight continues

Thanks for keeping this courageous young man’s vision alive 40 years later

Lantern Park townhomes set to open this Sunday on Aldergrove/Abbotsford border

Developer Peter Reimer said more homes, including a mid-rise complex, are in store for the future

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read