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ASIRT investigating actions of police during suicide of stolen vehicle suspect

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Alberta Serious Incident Response Team ASIRT

From the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team

Investigation into self-inflicted gunshot wound during contact with EPS

On Nov. 19, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 19-year-old man that occurred that same day during contact with members of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

At about 1:21 a.m., an EPS officer was on foot and directing traffic in the eastbound lanes of Whitemud Drive, between the 17 Street overpass and Anthony Henday Drive. The officer was on a special duty assignment to assist with moving an oversized load on the freeway. While the officer was directing traffic, a white Hyundai failed to stop as requested and struck the officer. The Hyundai continued eastbound on Whitemud Drive. After the collision, a civilian witness operating the pilot vehicle that was accompanying the load followed the Hyundai until a marked EPS vehicle arrived and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The Hyundai lost control on a curve on 17 Street, just north of Ellerslie Road, and came to a stop in the ditch.

The driver of the Hyundai, the 19-year-old man, exited the vehicle with a firearm. The man did not comply with commands to drop the firearm, and instead fired a single gunshot, fatally injuring himself. Additional EPS members, along with EMS, attended to the location and provided first aid to the man, before ultimately transporting him to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man’s firearm, a loaded sawed-off 9-mm carbine, was recovered from the scene. Additional ammunition was recovered from the man’s vehicle. A second occupant of the vehicle, which was later determined to be stolen, was not injured during the incident. At this time there is no evidence to suggest that any police officer discharged a firearm during this incident.

EPS will maintain conduct of the investigation into the actions of the occupants of the Hyundai, while ASIRT’s investigation will examine the actions of police during this incident. With ASIRT’s investigation underway, no further information will be released at this time.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Two Million Dollar Drug Bust in Edmonton

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News Release from ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Project Elk concludes with eight arrests, millions in drugs and assets seized

A two-year cross-Canada drug trafficking investigation has concluded with eight Edmonton suspects facing charges. ALERT seized roughly $2 million in drugs, cash, and proceeds of crime.

Project Elk was a lengthy investigation into an Edmonton-based drug trafficking network that was involved in drug importation. Eight suspects were arrested and charged in October 2021 with offences ranging from drug and firearms related, to conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, to commission of an offence for a criminal organization.

The suspects are scheduled to make their initial court appearances on November 25, 2021.

“Project Elk will prove to be significant disruption to drug markets in Edmonton and other communities in northern Alberta. The negative impacts of drug trafficking are multi-faceted and connect back to societal harms such as gang-related violence, theft, property crimes, and healthcare implications,” said Inspector Kevin Berge, ALERT Edmonton.

ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime team spearheaded the investigation in November 2019, and Project Elk also involved the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service, and specialized RCMP units from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

In August 2020, ALERT intercepted a six-kilogram cocaine shipment that originated in Toronto. The seizure precipitated a series of search warrant executions in which six homes in the Edmonton were searched and one home in Strathcona County.

Project Elk resulted in the seizure of:

  • Five firearms;
  • 10 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 17 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
  • 4.7 kilograms of meth;
  • 2.9 kilograms of cannabis; and
  • $135,000 cash.

In addition, ALERT seized roughly $200,000 in offence related property, including three vehicles, jewelry, diamond rings, and Rolex watches.

“The drug trade doesn’t pay in the end. If you’re not shot, you’re ending up in jail, and you’re only hurting the people around you. It’s not the glamourous lifestyle that is fictionalized for the sake of TV and movies,” said Berge.

A total of 35 criminal charges have been laid against:

  • Tyshawn Walters, 29-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Kashane Walters, 34-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Kariyawasam Kariyawasam, 39-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Tyree Malcolm, 28-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Levi Collinge, a 39-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Boris Derpich, 43-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Stacey Sharpe, 35-year-old woman from Edmonton; and
  • Trevor Bellows, 31-year-old man from Edmonton.

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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Alberta

Handguns and drugs seized in million-dollar bust

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News Release from ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

One million dollars’ worth of drugs was seized, along with multiple firearms, in an ALERT investigation that spread across northern Alberta.

On November 2, 2021 ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime and gang team executed multiple search warrants in effort to disrupt an intraprovincial drug trafficking network. Three homes in Edmonton were searched and targeted vehicle stops were conducted in Red Deer and Whitecourt.

“ALERT’s investigation revealed the Edmonton-based group was aggressive in supplying smaller cells in Grande Prairie and Red Deer. By leveraging our criminal intelligence, and coordinating ALERT’s resources, we were able to undermine their operations by intercepting significant shipments of harmful drugs,” said Inspector Kevin Berge, ALERT Edmonton.

The totality of ALERT’s enforcement efforts netted one million dollars’ worth of drugs, including the seizure of:

  • Three handguns;
  • 645 rounds of ammunition;
  • 8,578 grams of meth;
  • 1,317 grams of fentanyl;
  • 2,850 milliliters of GHB;
  • 3 grams of cocaine;
  • 57 opioid pills;
  • 17,260 grams of buffing agents;
  • 929 grams of unknown powders; and
  • $16,255 cash.

All three of the firearms were found with ammunition and not lawfully possessed. One of the firearms was believed to have been 3-D printed and was equipped with a suppression device. ALERT will be submitting the firearms for further analysis and ballistics testing.

Five people were arrested but no charges have been laid at this time.

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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