Guilty pleas in record cocaine case, with drugs valued at $1.5 million

One of the 1 kg bricks of mostly pure cocaine seized by Prince Albert police in 2016.. Photo courtesy Prince Albert Police Service.

Two of the six people arrested in Prince Albert’s largest-ever cocaine bust have pleaded guilty.

Kelsey Bear and Trevor McKay were facing trafficking charges after police found 11.25 kilograms of cocaine in an apartment last August. Both entered guilty pleas on Monday at Prince Albert’s provincial courthouse.

Prosecutor Brent Slobodian said the Crown has “solid evidence” against both accused. Nonetheless, he said he wasn’t expecting the pleas on the first day of their trial this week.

Bear and McKay will return to court for sentencing in February.

Slobodian revealed that the cocaine seized in the bust would be worth about $1.5 million on the streets, even more than police initially reported. And that’s just a “low end” estimate.

He said about half of the powder was over 80 per cent pure cocaine. Police found large quantities of cutting agents inside the residence, and Slobodian thinks the dealers could have used it to pump the weight up to 16 kilograms or more – extracting more profit from their drugs.

Officers found the cocaine after an apartment manager entered the unit and found evidence of drug packaging. The manager called police, who executed a search warrant in August 2016.

It took time to identify the suspects, however, since neither McKay or Bear were in the apartment at the time of the seizure. McKay was arrested along with four other suspects first, but Bear remained at large until mid-January. 

For more on this story, including what’s next for the four other accused, see the Saturday October 28 print or e-edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald.