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

Accused drug smuggler appears in Penticton court

A man accused of bringing drugs across Osoyoos border appeared in court

A man accused of smuggling methamphetamine across the Osoyoos border will have to wait until next week for his bail hearing.

Armando Esparza-Ochoa was in Penticton provincial court on Monday making an appearance on importing/exporting a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking and failing to report in person at a customs office charges. The charges were laid on Sept. 1.

Through the use of an interpreter, Esparza-Ochoa told the court that he had not yet spoken to a lawyer.

“No. It’s best if you just sentence me,” he said.

Crown counsel said Esparza-Ochoa could be facing a very serious sentence if he is convicted.

Related: Osoyoos border gun smuggler sentenced

“I am certainly not comfortable dealing with any plea without him having the opportunity to speak to counsel in relation to these charges,” said Crown counsel Ashleigh Bayliss.

Judge Gregory Koturbash adjourned the matter until Sept. 26 so Esparza-Ochoa could arrange through legal aid to meet with a lawyer to speak to with a Spanish speaking interpreter.

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


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