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Red Deer RCMP make numerous arrests in crime hot spots

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Red Deer, Alberta – Red Deer RCMP made a number of arrests while conducting proactive patrols in areas known for criminal activity, and located numerous suspects who were wanted on outstanding warrants. RCMP made more arrests while conducting compliance checks on individuals known to have court imposed conditions such as curfews; these strategies are key to Red Deer’s Pinpoint crime reduction focus on repeat offenders and emerging issues. Red Deer RCMP made more arrests thanks to reports from the public regarding suspicious activity, and thank Red Deerians for their continued support and vigilance.

May 5 – 2018

At 9 pm on May 5, RCMP responded to a report of a personal robbery after a man allegedly robbed a woman of her sunglasses at knifepoint in the area of 50 Street and 51 Avenue. RCMP responded immediately and located the suspect nearby on foot; he was arrested after a brief foot chase.

21 year old Zachary John Wahobin faces the following charges:

·         Criminal Code 344(1)(b) – Robbery with weapon

·         Criminal Code 129(a) – Resist/ obstruct peace officer X 2

·         Criminal Code 88(1) – Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose

·         Criminal Code 733.1(1) – Fail to comply with probation

Wahobin was remanded to appear in court in Red Deer on May 7 and is scheduled to appear next on May 23 at 9:30 am.

 

May 4 – 2018

Shortly before 3 pm on May 4, Red Deer RCMP located a truck that had been stolen out of Blackfalds and used On Star to track it as the truck moved through Red Deer. When it was safe to do so, RCMP had On Star shut down the truck in the Normandeau neighbourhood and arrested the male driver after a brief foot chase. RCMP located two stolen bicycles in the back of the truck and seized what is believed to be heroin, crystal meth and marijuana, as well as pepper spray, a knife and break-in tools 

29 year old Bryan Anthony Penso faces

·         Criminal Code 249(1) – Dangerous operation of motor vehicle

·         Criminal Code 351(1) – Possess break-in instruments

·         Criminal Code 355(a) – Possession of stolen property over $5,000

·         Criminal Code 355(b) – Possession of stolen property under $5,000

·         Criminal Code 88(1) – Possession of weapon for the purpose of committing an offense X 2

·         CDSA 4(1) – Possession of Schedule I/ Schedule II substances X 3

·         TSA 51(a) – Operate vehicle without holding operator’s license

·         TSA 52(1)(a) – Operate vehicle without registration

·         TSA 54(1)(a) – Operate vehicle without insurance

Penso was remanded to appear in court in Red Deer on May 7 and is scheduled to appear again on May 14 at 9:30 am.

May 2 – 2018

At 5:45 am on May 2, Red Deer RCMP responded to a report of a break and enter in progress at a business in north Red Deer after a witness reported observing a male suspect climbing over a fence to access the business. RCMP responded immediately and arrested the suspect without incident.

 A 30 year old man faces a charge of Criminal Code 348(1)(a) – break and enter; he is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on June 26. His name cannot be released at this time as that charge has not yet been sworn before the courts.

May 1 – 2018

At 6:30 pm, RCMP attended a store in response to a report of a shoplifter, and arrested a woman who was found to be in possession of a number of stolen items and was wanted on numerous outstanding warrants.

23 year old Taylor Watkins-Paul was wanted on 21 warrants out of Innisfail, Red Deer and Canmore for multiple counts of possession of stolen property, failing to comply with conditions and failing to appear in court, as well as three traffic charges of driving without insurance. She now faces an additional charge of theft under $5,000 and two counts of failing to comply with conditions. Watkins-Paul was remanded to appear in court on May 4 and is scheduled to appear again on May 11 at 9:30 am.

 April 30 – 2018

At 9:30 pm on April 30, RCMP responded to a report of suspicious activity in a north-end industrial parking lot and located a suspect who was found to be breaching court-imposed conditions, including a curfew.

19 year old Austin Joseph Pollock faces two counts of Criminal Code 145(3) – fail to comply with conditions. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 29 at 8:30 am.

 April 30 – 2018

Shortly before 9 am on April 30, RCMP responded to a report of suspicious activity in a vehicle parked in Oriole Park. On arrival, RCMP located a suspect in the car who was wanted on outstanding warrants and was in possession of what is believed to be methamphetamine.

25 year old Tyler James Nugent was wanted on four warrants out of Red Deer for impaired driving, driving over 0.08, failing to attend court and a traffic charge; he was wanted on five warrants out of Sundre for impaired driving, driving while unauthorized, and several other traffic charges, and another warrant out of Didsbury for failing to attend court. Nugent now faces an additional charge of CDSA 4(1) – Possession of Schedule I substance (methamphetamine). He is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on May 18 at 8:30 am.

 April 29 – 2018

Shortly before 2:30 am on May 29, RCMP on patrol in downtown Red Deer located a suspect who was wanted on two outstanding warrants for breaching his probation. At the time of his arrest, RCMP determined that he was further breaching his probation. In addition to his warrants, 39 year old Devlin Brighar faced a new charge of breach of probation. He appeared in court in Red Deer on May 4 and those charges have now been dealt with by the court.

April 26 – 2018

The evening of April 26, members of the Red Deer RCMP crime reduction team were on proactive foot patrol in downtown Red Deer when they located a suspect in possession of fentanyl and what is believed to be methamphetamine. The suspect gave a false name but was soon identified by police.

54 year old Dereck Kirkpatrick faces two charges of CDSA 4(1) – possession of Schedule 1 substances and one charge of resisting/ obstructing a peace officer. Kirkpatrick is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on May 9 at 1:30 pm.

April 25 – 2018

Red Deer RCMP conducted a curfew check on April 25 and determined that the man in questions wasn’t at the residence, in violation of his court-imposed conditions. Red Deer RCMP conduct conditions checks regularly on numerous individuals as part of the Pinpoint crime reduction strategy.

29 year old Tyler Kellington faces a charge of failing to comply with probation; he made his first court appearance in Red Deer on May 4 and is scheduled to appear again on June 18 at 9:30 am.

April 24 – 2018

Shortly after 2 am on April 24, Red Deer RCMP on bicycle patrol in Riverside Meadows noted suspicious activity and, on investigation, located a suspect who was in possession of what is believed to be cocaine. The suspect was further found to be wanted on outstanding warrants out of Red Deer. 

In addition to the warrants, 22 year old Alli Kevin Halkett faces one charge of CDSA 4(1) – possession of Schedule I substance. He is scheduled to appear in court in Red Deer on May 8 at 8:30 am.

April 19 – 2018

A man who was arrested on April 3 for theft of mail is now wanted on warrants after failing to appear in court on April 13 to face those charges. The charges stem from a report received by Red Deer RCMP on April 3 that a suspect was seen breaking into apartment mailboxes. RCMP attended and located the suspect nearby in possession of a number of pieces of stolen mail. RCMP took him into custody and returned the mail to its owners.

 28 year old Dallas Albert Rain is wanted on warrants for the following charges:

·         Criminal Code 356(1)(a) – Theft from mail under $5,000 X 5

·         Criminal Code 430(4) – Mischief under $5,000 X 2

·         Criminal Code 145(2)(a) – Fail to attend court

If you have information about Rain’s whereabouts please call the Red Deer RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575.

 

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Alberta

‘Ludicrous’: Prosecutor questions testimony of teen in Calgary hit-and-run cop death

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

A prosecutor suggested Wednesday a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary Police Service officer had no reason to believe he was in danger.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett died in hospital on Dec. 31, 2020, after being dragged by a fleeing SUV and falling into the path of an oncoming car.

The alleged driver, who cannot be identified because he was 17 at the time, has testified he was scared when Harnett and another officer approached the vehicle during a traffic stop and he saw Harnett put his hand on his gun.

But during cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson played the body-camera footage of the stop. He asked the accused, who is now 19, if there was any proof Harnett was being threatening or insulting during the routine traffic stop.

“You brought up George Floyd in your direct examination. Do you remember what happened to George Floyd?” Ewenson asked.

The accused replied: “He got pulled out of the vehicle and I think they stepped on his neck … and he said he couldn’t breathe.”

Floyd was a Black man who was killed during an arrest by Minnesota police on May 25, 2020.

During testimony Tuesday, the teen testified he and his friends had discussed the Floyd case on social media.

“Let’s talk about what we just saw with Sgt. Harnett if we could, because you’re bringing this up at a trial that involves his death,” said Ewenson. “Any abusive language from him?”

“No,” the teen replied.

“Anything that was insulting to your age, your race, your ethnic background or religion,” Ewenson asked.

“Not necessarily, no. Actually, I felt like I was being racialized, right? Just the fact that the door opened and the fact that he asked for my phone number. I’ve never been asked for my phone number.”

Ewenson said any talk of the traffic stop being racist was just something the teen wanted the court to “take his word for” and there’s nothing that would be considered racist from Harnett’s behaviour.

“That’s how I felt,” the accused replied.

The teen repeatedly told Ewenson that he wasn’t sure how he ended up in the neighbourhood. He said he was following his GPS to get to a party. He also said he didn’t know who the third person in the back seat of the vehicle was, who had come with a friend.

Ewenson said it’s unlikely there would be memory lapses after an event that was the “most traumatic, powerful” and “consequential” night of the teen’s life.

“So looking back on it, you realize the story is ludicrous? The story doesn’t make sense, does it?” Ewenson asked. “Everything for you is a mindless reaction.”

The suspect said at the time he panicked and just decided to take off because he was afraid. The teen said looking back, he wishes his decision had been different.

“Look, to be frank to you, I’ve sat for two years in jail and I’ve thought about this over and over and over again,” he said. “It’s different when I think about it now and what I was going through at the moment.”

Ewenson suggested it was more likely something illegal was inside the suspect vehicle that made fleeing a simple traffic stop worth the risk.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022.

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Alberta

Incredible luxury homes and vehicles seized in massive international $55 million drug bust with Alberta roots

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Niagara-On-The-Lake home seized by police in Project Cobra operation

News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

Project Cobra intercepts $55 million worth of drugs

More than an estimated $55 million worth of methamphetamine and cocaine has been seized following a cross-border investigation by ALERT, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Project Cobra is a nearly three-year organized crime investigation into transnational drug importation, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Halifax County home seized by police in Project Cobra operation

As the result of enforcement initiatives on both sides of the border, 928 kilograms of methamphetamine and 6 kilograms of cocaine were intercepted. In addition, approximately $7 million worth of assets have been seized or placed under criminal restraint.

Project Cobra relied on the assistance of a number of police agencies and specialized units, including: Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Niagara Regional Police, Canada Revenue Agency, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and RCMP units in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Sask., and Osoyoos, B.C.

Lamborghinis and Porsche seized by police in Project Cobra operation

Mercedes-Benz seized by police in Project Cobra operation

Police agencies collaborated to make numerous large-scale drug seizures during the course of Project Cobra. These were shipments destined for Alberta, and included the following seizures:

  • 342 kg of meth in Wyoming;
  • 308 kg of meth in Los Angeles;
  • 137 kg of meth in Calgary;
  • 84 kg of meth in Los Angeles;
  • 50 kg of meth at Lake Koocanusa, B.C.;
  • 7 kg of meth and 1 kg of cocaine in Calgary; and
  • 5 kg of cocaine in North Battleford, Sask.


Nineteen firearms were also seized, which included handguns, rifles, submachine guns, and suppressors.

Seven million dollars’ worth of property, bank accounts, luxury vehicles, and other suspected proceeds of crime has been seized or placed under criminal restraint. This includes a $3.5 million home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, two Lamborghinis, a Porsche, classic cars, and $200,000 cash.

Project Cobra began in 2020 and a series of 11 coordinated search warrants were executed in December 2021. Homes, vehicles, businesses, and storage locations were searched in Calgary, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and Leduc County, Alta.

Fifteen people and one business have been charged with 80 criminal offences ranging from participation in a criminal organization, to importation of a controlled substance, to laundering proceeds of crime, to drug trafficking.

The suspects were arrested and charged between May 2022 and August 2022:

  • Elias Ade, 38-year -old from Calgary, charged with 12 offences;
  • Abdul Akbar, 37-year-old from Calgary, charged with 8 offences;
  • Tianna Bull, 25-year-old from North Battleford, charged with 1 offence;
  • Lina El-Chammoury, 50-year-old from Calgary, charged with 2 offences;
  • Russell Ens, 39-year-old from North Battleford, charged with 2 offences;
  • Talal Fouani, 46-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Belal Fouani, 44-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Kari-Lynn Grant, 51-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Scott Hunt, 33-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Ricco King, 50-year-old from Bedford, N.S., charged with 5 offences;
  • Jarett Mackenzie, 32-year-old from Calgary, charged with 6 offences;
  • Jesse Marshall, 52-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Daniel Menzul, 32-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Sean Nesbitt, 44-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • William Whiteford, 39-year-old from Leduc County, charged with 20 offences; and
  • Fouani Equity Funds Ltd. charged with 1 offence.

Fouani Equity Funds Ltd. is a Calgary-based investment company and was charged with laundering proceeds for an organized crime group.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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