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Men stopped at pandemic checkpoint face drugs charges


Three men attempting to cross the border from Alberta into the Northwest Territories have been charged with multiple drug trafficking offences.

RCMP say the men were turned away from the NWT on Tuesday at a checkpoint outside Enterprise, as they didn’t meet the criteria for entry under Covid-19 restrictions.

However, territorial government staff working the checkpoint were “suspicious of the men’s intentions,” said RCMP in a statement on Friday, and summoned the police.

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RCMP say their officers stopped the truck before it crossed back into Alberta. (Enterprise is approximately 100 km from the border, but the checkpoint is near the community so staff are able to access to services.)

In a news release, RCMP said officers “formed grounds to arrest the men” then searched their truck. Nearly 200 grams of cocaine and 78 grams of cathinone, more commonly known as khat, were allegedly found.

RCMP say they seized the truck, a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado, “as it was allegedly used as a conveyance to bring drugs into the NWT.”

Mohammed Hamza Mahmood, 27, Ismail Hassan Farah, 24, and Farah Ahmed Aden, 23 were charged with possessing cocaine and khat for the purposes of trafficking, for trafficking the drugs, and for obstructing a peace officer.

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Aden and Mahmood have been released with various conditions. They were escorted out of the NWT and are set to appear in court on September 8, police said.

RCMP added Farah remains in custody as he was wanted on separate warrants by Fort Simpson RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service.

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