Canadian Border Services Agency Osoyoos port of entry. Tara Bowie/Western News

Man accused of smuggling drugs across Osoyoos border still waiting for arraignment

Armando Esparza-Ochoa was charged on Sept. 1 for importing/exporting a controlled substance

The court process for a man who is accused of smuggling methamphetamine across the Osoyoos border crossing is slow-moving.

Armando Esparza-Ochoa was charged on Sept. 1 for importing/exporting a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking and failing to report in person at a customs office charges.

Esparza-Ochoa’s lawyer Michael Patterson appeared on his client’s behalf at the Penticton courthouse on Wednesday to deal with an arraignment hearing.

Related: Accused drug smuggler appears in Penticton court

Defence counsel was also planning to put an application forward asking for Crown to provide the disclosure in Spanish. Patterson said because there is nothing in the Criminal Code that says that service must be provided, he was withdrawing it.

The arraignment is now pushed to Dec. 5 so Patterson can get the disclosure documents translated.

Esparza-Ochoa was previously in court on Sept. 17 for a bail hearing and through the use of an interpreter, he asked the judge to sentence him. However, Crown counsel said they were not comfortable dealing with any plea until Esparza-Ochoa spoke to a lawyer first because of the serious sentence he could be facing if convicted.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Kristi Patton | Editor

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