A man accused of possessing thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine and fentanyl was given a shot at bail Monday afternoon, but a judge warned him the decision was a close one.
Kevin Imrie, 42, is facing drug trafficking charges after Brandon police executed a search warrant last week. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty and the charges have not been proven in court.
On Jan. 11, Brandon police completed a drug trafficking investigation that started in December, federal Crown attorney Hugh Crawley told the court. On that day, police received information Imrie allegedly had meth for the purpose of trafficking.
Officers followed him and found he was allegedly a passenger in a vehicle a co-accused was driving, Crawley said. The vehicle made "multiple short stops," he said, and police believed they were observing drug trafficking.
Police stopped the vehicle at approximately 1:30 p.m., Crawley said. Officers allegedly found $1,670 in Imrie’s pants pockets and 7.8 grams of meth in the co-accused’s purse before arresting them both.
Then, at 3:50 p.m., police executed a search warrant at a 26th Street basement apartment, Crawley said. Two people were reportedly in the common area of the apartment when police entered, and they were also charged.
A bedroom in the apartment was locked by a deadbolt, Crawley said, but a key allegedly found on Imrie opened the lock.
Police discovered 44 grams of methamphetamine and 20.3 grams of blue fentanyl in a safe in the room. Officers found $100 in cash and three cellphones inside as well.
"There was also live 9mm ammunition and live .22-calibre ammunition within that bedroom," Crawley told the court, adding police found a .22-calibre rifle in a hockey bag in the apartment’s common area. Police also allegedly found scales and packing material in the room.
Both Crawley and provincial Crown attorney Jonathan Mays opposed the accused being released on bail.
"The combination of guns and drugs is something of particular concern to the community," Crawley said.
"Methamphetamine is a drug of chaos … whereas fentanyl is a substance which has the risk of simply killing people."
Defence lawyer Amado Claros noted Imrie is cloaked in the presumption of innocence and said he was only visiting the co-accused with whom he was arrested. Imrie said the co-accused asked him to drive her on some errands on Jan. 11, which is why they were in the car together.
Claros said police didn’t specifically see drugs changing hands and the money he was found with came from Money Mart.
Claros also took issue with Imrie allegedly being found with a key to the room where other drugs were found, saying there was no indication the accused was living there at the time.
He suggested a bail plan that included a curfew and living in Winnipeg.
Judge Patrick Sullivan released Imrie on bail, but warned him it was a close decision and he is on "thin ice."
Imrie is scheduled to appear in Brandon provincial court in February.
He is also facing unrelated sexual assault charges in Winnipeg.
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