Long trial expected for organized crime case

A lengthy trial is expected for a Red Deer man who pleaded not guilty to organized crime charges on Wednesday.

A lengthy trial is expected for a Red Deer man who pleaded not guilty to organized crime charges on Wednesday.

Jordan Michael Hoelscher, 30, pleaded not guilty in Red Deer provincial court to trafficking drugs for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization; conspiracy to supply drugs for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization, and breaching bail conditions.

Federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis told Judge Jim Mitchell that he expects the trial to last more than a week. A trial date will be set on Feb. 7 for Hoelscher, who remains in custody.

Hoelscher was one of two men charged last month after police raids on three city homes. Red Deer RCMP got warrants to search the homes after a three-month investigation.

Croft Monroe-Bowes, 33, of Red Deer faces the same two gang-related charges as Hoelscher, plus three other charges: one count of possession of illegal drugs and two counts of unauthorized possession of firearms in relation to a .22-calibre rifle and a .303-calibre rifle seized during the searches.

Croft Monroe-Bowes was granted release on strict conditions, including $5,000 bail with no cash deposit, a curfew, and a prohibition from possessing or using a cellphone, pager or other means of electronic communication.

He is to return to court on Jan. 30 to enter a plea.

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