Alessandro (Sandro) Lisi, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver, has been charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, police confirmed this morning.
Police have also charged Lisi, 35, with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and possession of the proceeds of crime. He was released on Wednesday on $5,000 bail.
Another man, Jamshid Bahrami, 47, was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, three counts of trafficking marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
The men appeared Wednesday at Old City Hall courthouse.
Confirmation of the charges came the morning after police searched a dry-cleaning business in west Toronto and the Lisi family's home.
CBC News has also learned that Lisi had been under surveillance for several months before his arrest, with police picking up conversations and encounters with several people — including the mayor.
Mayor Ford spoke to reporters just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and said he was "surprised" about the charges against Lisi, whom he described as a friend.
"He’s a good guy," said Ford. "And I don’t throw my friends under the bus. Like I said he’s straight and narrow, never once seen the guy drink, never seen him once do drugs.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's friend faces drug charges - Toronto - CBC News