Drug runner to be sentenced early next year

Sentencing will be held early next year for a young Red Deer man arrested for running drugs.

Sentencing will be held early next year for a young Red Deer man arrested for running drugs.

Chris Hernberg, now 22, pleaded guilty to trafficking crack cocaine before Justice Monica Bast in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.

Hernberg was 19 when he and two other men were arrested on July 12, 2011, after a drug raid at a residence on Jamieson Avenue in Red Deer.

Crown prosecutor David Inglis said Hernberg was the only runner over the age of 18 in a residence that had raised suspicion among neighbours.

Members of the Red Deer City RCMP Street Team put the building under surveillance on July 8, 2011, after a number of neighbours complained of frequent and brief curbside meetings between people from inside the house and people in vehicles, said Inglis.

Surveillance police witnessed a number of hand-to-hand exchanges consistent with the drug trade and also noted an increase in activity whenever two adult men were at the house, he said.

Investigators determined that the two men were supplying the drugs and arranging buys. Young people inside the house, including Hernberg, were paid to run the drugs to the street and return with the money.

At the time of his arrest, Hernberg had two small packets of crack cocaine in the front pocket of his shorts, said Inglis.

Police found more drugs inside the house, including just under 100 gm of marijuana, 10 more packets of cocaine, a variety of items suitable for using and selling drugs and $175 in cash, he said.

Sentencing has been delayed for at least two months to allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. Defence counsel John MacNaughton said his client may qualify for a conditional sentence order, which would include a period of probation.

Also arrested in connection with the bust, which involved raids on a nearby home as well as a storage locker in Edmonton, were Raed Abdulla and Ahmed Nur, both 32.

Charges against Abdulla were stayed late in September, when he was scheduled to stand trial.

Nur stood trial in late September and early October. He was convicted on two of the three charges against him.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Charlene Anderson convicted Nur on two counts of trafficking drugs, but delayed giving her decision on whether he is guilty of possessing proceeds of crime for the roughly $65,000 in cash seized from his person and his pickup truck.

Sentencing dates for Hernberg and Nur, as well as the date for Anderson’s decision on Nur, are to be set on Jan. 5.