An Abbotsford alleged crime boss who sought interim release from prison while awaiting an extradition hearing related to a drug-smuggling case has had his application denied.
Karmjit “Jazzy” Sran, 42, has been in prison since April 24 of this year. He had applied to be released until a hearing takes place on whether he should be extradited to the U.S. to face charges there for conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.
According to the written ruling of Justice Jennifer Power, a truck driver was arrested in November 2013 at the Sumas, Wash. border crossing after 19 kilograms of cocaine was found in his vehicle.
That man, who later became a cooperating witness with U.S. investigators, stated that he had intended to smuggle the drugs into Canada. The truck driver said he was working for two organizations, one of which had a boss he knew as “Jazzy,” the ruling states.
Sran, who works in the construction industry, goes by the names of Jazzy or Jessi.
The witness offered to introduce Jazzy to a Homeland Security agent who was working undercover as a drug trafficker.
“That undercover officer and Mr. Sran had four face-to-face meetings in February and March of 2014 where they discussed the purchase and smuggling of cocaine into Canada from the United States,” Power said in her ruling.
During that time, three transactions took place involving supposed cocaine in the amounts of 19, 12 and 10 kilograms with a total street value of around $2 million.
But unknown to Sran, the product consisted of both sham and actual cocaine, according to the documents.
“The transactions were sophisticated in nature and involved the use of code names and serial numbers of bills at the time of the transactions,” Power said.
According to the documents, Sran entered the U.S. on Nov. 12, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2014. During the transactions, he referred to himself as “the boss.”
“He conducted himself in a sophisticated manner, with knowledge of drug jargon, practices and the drug trade,” Power said.
“He indicated that he had access to large sums of cash and associates and he in fact accessed large sums of cash.”
The U.S requested the extradition of Sran, and the courts issued an extradition warrant in April 2019, at which time he was arrested.
During the recent hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver to seek Sran’s interim release, his lawyer argued that there is no evidence that Sran has been involved in any criminal activity since 2014.
However, Power said she was not persuaded by that argument, adding that she believes Sran has access to “large sums of money” and poses a flight risk.
“I am of the view that the activity alleged, which even the defence concedes presents as a strong case, is very sophisticated,” Power.
Prior to his arrest, Sran was living in a home in Abbotsford with his mother, wife and four-year-old son.
A date for the extradition hearing has not yet been set.