Husband who survived Calgary shooting that killed wife pleads guilty to money laundering
Talal Fouani was on bail for organized crime offences when he and his wife were shot in their car
A Calgary man who survived a brazen daytime shooting that left his wife dead has pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Last August, Talal Fouani, 47, and Nakita Baron, 31, were shot in their Bentley as it pulled out of their driveway in the southwest community of Evergreen.
Two months earlier, Fuoani had been charged with organized crime offences. He was on bail at the time of the shooting.
On Friday, Fouani entered his plea before provincial court Judge Greg Stirling.
The judge will hear sentencing arguments from defence lawyer Yoav Niv and prosecutor Danielle Szabo at a later date.
Niv is applying for a publication ban on the facts of the case and the sentencing hearing. CBC News, along with other media organizations, is opposing that application.
Fouani was charged alongside 14 others following a cross-border, $55-million drug bust involving Mexican cartels, according to police.
His company, Fouani Equity Funds Ltd. — which describes Fouani as a venture capitalist and investor — was also charged with laundering proceeds for an organized crime group.
The investigation, dubbed "Project Cobra," began in 2020 and involved the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), Calgary police, U.S. Homeland Security and officers in Niagara, Ont., Saskatchewan and Osoyoos, B.C.
Police alleged the group of men and women charged in Project Cobra were moving cocaine and methamphetamine produced by Mexican cartels to Alberta.
According to ALERT, Ricco King, 50, is accused of being the top figure in the criminal organization. King faces charges of trafficking, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization.
Trials have not yet taken place for the co-accused.
A week after Baron was killed, Michael Tyrel Arnold, 34, of Sherwood Park was arrested by Edmonton police. He was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Arnold's preliminary inquiry is set to take place in the fall.