Two women from N’dilo, on trial in Yellowknife for drug trafficking, may still try to say they didn’t know what they were picking up near the NWT-Alberta boundary, but they absolutely knew some of the the players involved.
Vitaline Lafferty, 79, and her 58-year-old daughter Mary Anne Lafferty are accused of picking up a load of drugs in March, 2016 with the intention of delivering them to Yellowknife.
RCMP heard about the pickup over cell phone intercepts and were waiting for Vitaline’s vehicle just the other side of the Deh Cho Bridge near Fort Providence as they made their way north.
On recorded phone taps played in court Friday, both Vitaline and Mary Anne can be heard talking to now-convicted drug ringleader Todd Dube.
Nothing incriminating is said, but it is obvious the Laffertys know who they are talking to.
In other recordings, Dube is also heard talking to Vitaline’s son and Mary Anne’s daughter – Katrina Stiopu who has also already been convicted for her role in the drug ring.
Also heard on taps is Dube talking to the man who drove the drugs up from B.C. and then met the Laffertys in Northern Alberta.
That man has already been convicted for his role in the delivery.
Earlier on Friday court heard from an RCMP drug expert who said the street value of the drugs the Laffertys were delivering was well in excess of $100,000.
He added that because of the large amounts and the way the drugs were packaged, it is highly unlikely that anyone would be acquiring such amounts for personal use.
The Laffertys are accused of possession for the purpose of trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, MDMA – the raw ingredient in Ecstasy – and liquid codeine.
They admit they had 1.7 kilograms of cocaine and wholesale amounts of the rest of the drugs in their vehicle when they were pulled over.
They were contained in a suitcase, backpack and several shopping bags.
Mary Anne told police after they were arrested that her mother was doing the courier run for $1,000.
She did not say her mother knew what were in the bags.
The trial is to continue on Monday.