Thunder Bay man charged with trafficking fentanyl, cocaine granted bail

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THUNDER BAY - A 62-year-old man who was arrested in October with possession of cocaine and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking was granted release from custody following a bail hearing on Monday.

Francesco Rino Bonazza, 62, of Thunder Bay was charged by Thunder Bay police on Oct. 22 with two drug trafficking charges, flight from a peace officer, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failure or refusal to comply with demand.

Police said in a news release at the time, an officer noticed a vehicle that failed to stop at the corner of McLeod and Christie Streets just after 4 a.m. on Oct. 22.

When the officer conducted the traffic stop, the male driver appeared to show several signs of impairment. Police say the man exited his vehicle and was requested to participate in a roadside sobriety test but the man refused.

The accused re-entered his vehicle and made an attempt to flee. The officer was able to prevent the male suspect from escaping.

After he was arrested, police found suspected cocaine and fentanyl, cash, drug trafficking paraphernalia and two non-firearm prohibited weapons.

On Monday, Nov. 16, Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman agreed to release Bonazza after hearing submissions from lawyers.

Bonazza’s release conditions require him to live with his surety under house arrest conditions unless he is in the direct presence of his surety, he can’t possess any weapons, or consume or possess any unlawful substances or drug paraphernalia. He will also be subject to police compliance checks.

His surety also promised to pay $1,000 in the event Bonazza breaches any of his conditions.

Bonazza is scheduled to appear in court next in December.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source