Preliminary inquiry begins for man accused of exporting ephedrine

Rosie Mullaley
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Rob King was in provincial court today for the start of his preliminary inquiry.

The preliminary inquiry for a local businessman suspected of illegally exporting highly restricted pills to the United States got underway today.

Rob King, 39, was in provincial court in St. John’s this morning for the start of the hearing, which determines whether there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.

King — owner of Heavyweights Training and Fitness Products Ltds. in the capital city — faces charges exporting ephedrine pills, attempting to export ephedrine pills and possessing ephedrine pills for the purpose of exporting them across the border.

Ephedrine, often used for weight loss, is a key ingredient in crystal meth and is included in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Between April 2012 and November 2012, the RCMP seized 44 packages of ephedrine from Canada Post, which were considered key evidence in the investigation.

In July 2013, before charges were laid, King’s lawyer, Averill Baker, tried to argue in court that King should have the pills back. She insisted the pills are King's property and that investigators overstepped their bounds by keeping them longer than they were permitted.

However, Judge Jim Walsh disagreed and ruled the police could keep the pills since they are key evidence.

Judge David Orr is on the bench for the inquiry, which is scheduled for three days, but is expected to wrap up before that.

Brenda Boyd is handling the prosecution for the Crown.

Organizations: RCMP, Canada Post

Geographic location: United States

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