EDMONTON, Alta. - A man who fled Saskatchewan and skipped his sentencing hearing after he was released on bail is facing more charges out of Edmonton where he was finally caught.
Kurt Miller, 42, from Brownlee, Sask., has been additionally charged with drug trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of equipment for use in production of substance.
On Nov. 1, Saskatchewan RCMP Warrant and Enforcement Team (WEST), along with officers from Moose Jaw RCMP CRT (Crime Reduction Team) and Saskatoon F-SOC deployed to Red Deer, Alta., worked in collaboration with the Red Deer ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team) and corroborated information to better locate and identify Miller’s whereabouts and activities. Based on all the information gathered by investigators, Miller was believed to be in Edmonton.
The following day, WEST deployed to Edmonton in an effort to locate Miller. Officers conducted proactive patrols and canvassed the areas Miller was believed to have been seen.
On Nov. 3, at 10 p.m. WEST was conducting patrols in Edmonton when they observed a male suspect exiting a trailer and placing bags in a vehicle before departing in it. WEST stopped the vehicle along the intersection of 82 Ave and 105 Street. Officers located Miller in the rear seat and he was taken into custody. The driver and female passenger were also taken into custody and released shortly after.
A search of the vehicle incidental to arrest revealed a suitcase and duffle bag containing drug preparation equipment and approximately 10.6 KG of suspected Fentanyl. The Strathcona County RCMP General Investigation Section was advised and have taken over the drug investigation.
"In this investigation, we seized over 10 kg of fentanyl which had the potential of reaching communities across Saskatchewan and Alberta. Approximately 2 mg of this substance is considered a lethal dose depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage," said Superintendent Glenn Church, officer in charge of the Saskatchewan RCMP's new Saskatchewan Enforcement Response Team (SERT).
"Our communities are safer because of this drug seizure and the dismantlement of this trafficking operation. This investigation is an example of excellent collaboration between our specialized Saskatchewan RCMP teams and municipal and provincial partner police agencies. Removing illicit drugs from the street and preventing it from reaching our communities continues to be a top priority for the Saskatchewan RCMP."
Miller was wanted by police since February after he had failed to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court for his sentencing hearing. He was originally to be sentenced in January but his lawyer had asked that his sentencing be delayed until February to give him time to get his affairs in order because he was going to receive significant prison time and the Crown didn’t object.
Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit searched for Miller and he was eventually arrested in Edmonton Nov. 3. He now remains in custody.
Miller skipped sentencing hearing in February
Miller was to be sentenced on numerous offences stemming from his May 2020 arrest during a traffic stop in Regina. Following the traffic stop, the Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit raided his rural home in the R.M. of Glenside 27 kilometres north of Biggar. As a result of the traffic stop by Regina Police, Miller was charged with drug trafficking offences. He was also charged with possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public and breach of probation.
After a search of the rural property, Miller was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000 and 16 firearms-related charges.
At the property, police seized methamphetamine, fentanyl, GHB, Xanax pills and LSD. They also seized numerous weapons including a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun, a spent anti-tank weapons, a revolver and body armour. They also found $16,080 in Canadian currency, money counters, packaging for drugs, eight cell phones, computers and tablets.
Miller was released on bail shortly after his arrest in May 2020 and later arrested for violating conditions. He was then granted bail again in December 2021.
Miller's co-accused, Mitch Hutchinson was sentenced in July 2020 to seven years in prison.
Hutchinson had shot an RCMP officer as they surrounded Miller’s house north of Biggar as police were getting ready to raid the rural property in the R.M. of Glenside during a drug bust.
The Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit had surrounded a rural house May 14 and the officers in tactical gear were hidden from sight. It was dark, shortly after midnight. Hutchinson heard noises outside, and thinking it was a coyote, grabbed a rifle and pulled the trigger, shooting into the blackness of the night, court heard.
The bullet hit one of the officers. The officer was treated immediately for minor injuries, the court heard. Hutchinson surrendered shortly after, was arrested and provided a confession.
Miller appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Nov. 23 and is back in that court Dec. 9.
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