Accused draws ire of judge

An accused drug dealer who dismissed his third lawyer just weeks before a trial drew the ire of a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice on Monday.

An accused drug dealer who dismissed his third lawyer just weeks before a trial drew the ire of a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice on Monday.

Justice D.K. Miller of Lethbridge expressed dismay when he heard that Samir Mohamed, 22, of Edmonton fired his third lawyer on March 1, just two weeks before the start of a two-day trial in Red Deer.

Mohamed’s fourth lawyer, Shawn Beaver of Edmonton, said he was contacted in late February by the accused to take a “certain path” in defending the allegations.

Miller asked Beaver why he took the case when he knew he couldn’t run it on March 15.

Beaver said Mohamed told him he wanted to try a different path of defence that previous lawyers were not willing to take.

The former lawyers included Will Willms of Red Deer and two Calgary lawyers — Tim Hoar and Richard Cairns.

A trial date is now set for April 26.

Mohamed was arrested in Sylvan Lake. It is alleged that he had a loaded firearm near him and a large quantity of crack cocaine in the vehicle.

Mohamed faces 10 charges, including two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of the proceeds of crime, three counts of possession of unauthorized weapons and three other weapons related offences.

Sylvan Lake RCMP said earlier that the accused was stopped on Feb. 11, 2010, for making an illegal U-turn. When the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell a strong odour of marijuana.

The suspect turned over a small amount of marijuana.

A search of the suspect uncovered more marijuana and 25 grams of crack cocaine.

A search of the vehicle uncovered 325 grams of crack cocaine, worth an estimated $30,000 to $35,000 if sold in small quantities on the street, and a .22-calibre loaded handgun and extra ammunition.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com