Following a sentencing hearing adjournment over Covid-19 claims, an Edmonton man convicted of possessing nearly 300 grams of cocaine in Yellowknife is back in custody after testing negative for the coronavirus. 

Justice Shannon Smallwood revoked Liban Mohamood Mohammed’s bail on June 17.

A man caught in possession of nearly 300 grams of cocaine has had his bail revoked after testing negative for Covid-19.
NNSL photo

On June 8, Smallwood “reluctantly” granted a two-week delay for Mohammed’s sentencing hearing  — enough time for him to complete self-isolation at home before getting tested for COVID-19. 

While pushing for a delay earlier this month, Mohammed told the court he and his wife were both self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms in Edmonton, where he’s lived since being released on bail. 

In September 2017, Yellowknife Mounties raided a 52 Street apartment following a weeks-long investigation — one that even saw officers set up a roadside ruse disguised as a routine traffic stop. 

Inside, police found Mohammed, along with 293 grams of cocaine and $52,325 in cash. The drugs were valued at $46,000.

He was later released on bail. 

In February, following a judge-alone trial, Mohammed was found guilty of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possessing property obtained by crime. 

Mohammed’s co-accused was cleared of the same charges. 

During the June 8 hearing, defence lawyer Andre Ouellette said Mohammed simply hadn’t been able to get in contact with Probation Services, meaning a pre-sentence report — a look into the circumstances and background of an offender ahead of sentencing — had not yet been completed. 

Strongly opposing the June 8 adjournment, prosecutor Brendan Green said Mohammed wasn’t taking the necessary steps to complete the pre-sentence report. Green deemed Mohammed a flight risk. He also reminded the court that Mohammed came to Yellowknife in 2017 while violating his probation and using a fake ID. 

In revoking Mohammed’s bail last week, Smallwood said delays surrounding the completion of the pre-sentence report will be “greatly resolved” now that he’s in custody. 

Mohammed’s sentencing hearing is now set to take place on July 17. He’s facing time in a federal penitentiary.

Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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