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Kelowna  

Alleged drug dealer on trial

In the summer of 2016, police spent five days tailing a red Toyota Echo around Kelowna and West Kelowna, watching as those inside allegedly dealt drugs all over town.

On July 27, police raided a hotel room at the Fairfield Inn & Suites where 28-year-old Behrang Khosravi, the driver of the car, was staying. Khosravi was arrested at the scene.

A key was found in Khosravi's pocket, which unlocked a bag inside the room. The bag contained cocaine, methamphetamine and a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

On Wednesday, Khosravi's drug trafficking trial began in Kelowna Supreme Court.

Const. Keir Thomson, the lead RCMP investigator on the case, testified they had received a tip that someone in a red Toyota Echo was dealing drugs in the Central Okanagan, while staying at various hotels in town.

With little more to go on, a team of three officers began searching hotel parking lots in Kelowna and West Kelowna for the vehicle. On July 6, one of the officers found the car in the parking lot of West Kelowna's Best Western Hotel, and police began their surveillance.

Over the course of July 6, 20, 21, 22 and 26, police followed the vehicle, and saw what appeared to be “short-duration meets,” a police term for street level drug deals.

In addition to the Best Western, police saw the Echo in the parking lots of Kelowna's North Pointe Inn and Suites and Fairfield Inn and Suites.

The RCMP identified Khosravi using the hotels' guest registries and an image of Khosravi obtained from police in Vancouver.

On July 27, Khosravi was arrested and police attempted to get a warrant to search Khosravi's Fairfield Inn and Suites room and his car. Following the arrest, but before a warrant was issued, police searched the hotel room and found the drugs.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Canzer said in his opening statement that police entered the room due to “exigent circumstances,” because of a belief that someone may be destroying evidence inside.

The warrantless search is just one of five police actions Khosravi is challenging. The other four constitutional challenges include the grounds for his arrest, police accessing the hotels' guest registries, police viewing his cell phone upon his arrest and a strip search that was conducted at the police detachment.

Justice Allan Betton will rule on the constitutional challenges following testimony from the officers involved in the investigation.

Khosravi is no stranger to the justice system. In 2008, he was arrested for a shooting on Vancouver's Davie Street, but it's unclear if he was convicted. The BC Prosecution Service refused to disclose the result of the charges. 

He has since been convicted of two assaults in Vancouver, serving small prison sentences for both.

In addition to the Kelowna drug charges he currently faces, he is also currently facing an assault causing bodily harm charge in Port Coquitlam, stemming from an incident last December.



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