Operation Clean Sweep cases adjourned

Ryan Ross
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Twenty-two accused were not ready to proceed with their cases Wednesday

Twenty-two people arrested during January's Operation Clean Sweep drug raids had their cases adjourned Wednesday.

It was a busy day in provincial court Wednesday as 22 of the people who were arrested in Operation Clean Sweep had their cases adjourned.

Their cases were all called before Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown where the proceedings lasted for almost two hours as each of the accused had their cases adjourned until a later date because they weren't ready to proceed.

They were all part of the group arrested last month as part of the largest drug operation in the Charlottetown police force's history that saw them seize more than $400,000 in drugs including cocaine, prescription pills and marijuana.

Charlottetown police expect to arrest more than 40 people and lay more than 100 charges in connection with the investigation that targeted major drug suppliers to the Charlottetown area.

Although none of the accused entered pleas Wednesday, Laurie Joseph Doucette, 58, Lloyd Wilfred Ellis, 36, and Steven Wallace Frizzell, 40, all previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the case.

Frizzell had legal representation prior to Wednesday's proceedings, but his lawyer Robert Rideout asked to be removed as the solicitor of record over what he said was a matter of getting a retainer.

It seemed to be unwelcome news to Frizzell who said he still wanted Rideout to represent him, but could only pay $700 up front, which wasn't enough to retain his service.

Crown attorney Scott Barry told the court he had been in discussions with Rideout about an agreed statement of facts in the case and said the removal as solicitor of record was news to him.

Frizzell echoed that sentiment.

"It's a surprise to me as well your honour," he said.

Most of the cases were adjourned until March 26, although Doucette and Ellis are scheduled to be back before Orr on April 2.

Another group of people arrested in the operation are scheduled to appear in provincial court Monday.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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