The man found dead in a car trunk along with a former Ottawa man was about to face trial for importing drugs from the United States, according to a Saturday newspaper report.

Harjinder Singh Sandhu, 26, was arrested at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor on May 5, 2007 after border agents found nearly $4 million of cocaine inside his tractor-trailer, according to The Globe and Mail.

Sandhu's trial was to begin in June in Windsor. He faced a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, the Globe reported.

Sandhu and Puneet Singh Chhina, also 26, of Nepean, were found shot and beaten to death in the trunk of an abandoned rental car Tuesday night in a rural area of Pickering, just east of Toronto.

Durham Regional Police suspect the deaths are gang-related, but have no suspects in custody. Both men had been reported missing in Peel Region, which encompasses Brampton and Mississauga.

Chhina's family told CTV Ottawa their son was a "victim of circumstance" who was not a criminal or gang member.

"He grew up in a very safe environment," Harry Chhina, his father, said Friday. "He always had a smile on his face. He did not know what wickedness is."

Chhina studied computer science at Laurentian University and worked at Dell's Kanata facility before it closed. He was in Toronto looking for work.