Lawyer issues delay possible plea for Project Harden suspect

Cedar's On Wheels on Pitt Street was raided by the O.P.P. Organized Crime Section on May 27, 2015. Police spent most of the day processing the crime scene. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Resolving the case of an accused member of a local handgun trafficking ring has taken a self-imposed sidestep.

Devin Lazore, 22, of Akwesasne is facing 11 firearms-related charges including possession of a prohibited weapon and possessing a firearm with an altered serial number.

He was one of eight people arrested May 27, 2015 after a raid on a local home and a downtown eatery.

Lazore had been scheduled last month to enter a plea but the matter had been delayed by labour unrest at the province’s jails.

But from the discussion in court today (Feb. 8), it appeared that Lazore had severed relations with his lawyer, Neha Chugh, since her appearance Jan. 8 in Cornwall.

Court documents show the matter had been briefly transferred to Alexandria and then returned to Cornwall this month.

Judge Gilles Renaud asked Lazore how his search for a lawyer was progressing. “Didn’t go through,” Lazore answered. He also indicated that he was not able to retain legal aid.

Renaud then asked Lazore if he was prepared to retain Chugh again, to which he said yes.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 18, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. to determine how much time will be needed for either a plea hearing or a trial.