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Breaking Bad Sized Seizure – ALERT and Edmonton Police Service take over 1.3 million in meth off the street

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From ALERT – The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team

Major Meth Seizure Made in Edmonton

Nearly 14 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized from an Edmonton home as part of an ALERT drug trafficking investigation. The drugs have an estimated street value of $1.35 million.

ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime and gang team made the seizure on December 30, 2020, after four Edmonton homes were searched. The Edmonton Police Service helped execute search warrants at homes in the Summerside, Oliver, Strathcona, and Rosenthal neighbourhoods.

Inside one of the homes, ALERT seized 13.77 kilograms of methamphetamine, which is a significant amount of drugs prevented from making their way into the community. This would equate to more than 45,000 doses when sold at street level.

“This amount of meth represents a high degree of community harm. The influx of cartel-connected meth into our province has fueled violence, ancillary property crimes, and poses serious health concerns. ALERT has prioritized these types of investigations and we are committed to disrupting the meth trade,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT CEO.

Since 2015, ALERT has seized approximately 110 kilograms of meth from across the province.

“In this case, our investigators believe we hit the distribution point and stopped a lot of drugs from making their way to Edmonton and outlying areas,” said Insp. Kevin Berge, ALERT Edmonton.

In addition to the methamphetamine, ALERT also seized:

  • 119.85 grams of cocaine;
  • 112.2 grams of MDMA;
  • 4.3 grams of suspected fentanyl;
  • 63 grams of cannabis resin;
  • 19 grams of psilocybin mushrooms;
  • 40 Oxycontin tablets; and
  • $8,850 cash.

The four-month investigation came as the result of a tip concerning drug trafficking activity.

ALERT’s investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

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

Alberta’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit working on record number of cases

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Article submitted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team

ICE responds to surge in record number of case files

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit has begun the new year with a number of arrests across Alberta. Twenty-four suspects have been charged with 60 offences related to the online sexual exploitation of children.

After receiving a record number of case referrals in 2020, ICE has been collaborating with its policing partners across the province to make arrests. Last year, ICE experienced nearly a 40% increase in its number of case referrals with over 2,100 intakes.

  • 2020-21 – 2,136;
  • 2019-20 – 1,555;
  • 2018-19 – 1,237;
  • 2017-18 – 903;
  • 2016-17 – 894;
  • 2015-16 – 749.

“This is a concerning consequence of our digital dependency during the pandemic. ALERT has responded by directing more tools and resources to our ICE units and we are prepared to travel to every corner of the province in order to stop child sex predators,” said ALERT CEO Supt. Dwayne Lakusta.

“The sexual exploitation of children is a crime that tears at the fabric of society and preys on our most vulnerable. Increased provincial funding is enabling ALERT to double the size of its ICE unit, ensuring it has the tools and resources to track down predators who commit these heinous acts and bring them to justice,” said Hon. Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

With new provincial funding, ALERT has sought to double the size of the ICE unit with the addition of investigators, forensic technicians, analysts, and disclosure clerks, along with new technologies and software applications. With now more than 50 positions, Alberta’s ICE unit is one of the largest of its kind in Canada.

Between January 1 and March 31, 2021, ICE arrested 24 suspects. There is no definitive link between the suspects other than the nature of offences allegedly committed.

The arrests came as the result of investigative referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, which works with internet and social media providers to track and investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.

Each of the suspects was charged with at least one child pornography offence:

  • Michael Antonio, 25-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Curt Backlund, 48-year-old man from Grande Prairie;
  • Brad Bailey, 19-year-old man from Marlboro;
  • Brett Beer, 54-year-old man from Onoway;
  • Eric Bultmann, 30-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Kevin Dykstra, 35-year-old man from Barrhead;
  • Brian Harrison, 35-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Jeremy Henderson, 42-year-old man from Okotoks;
  • Bryan Hillman, 39-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Christopher Hoffner, 34-year-old man from Medicine Hat;
  • James Kydd, 39-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Mica LePage, 44-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Jordan MacDonald, 30-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Cris Marshall, 29-year-old man from Stettler;
  • Stedson McDonald, 32-year-old man from Grande Prairie;
  • James Merrison, 21-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Traline Munn, 44-year-old man from Cold Lake;
  • Krishnamoort Nalla Naidu, 38-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Van Linh Nguyen, 24-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Ivan Scott, 47-year-old man from Cochrane;
  • Jerry Lee Thompson, 47-year-old from Fort MacLeod;
  • Hunter Tonneson, 20-year-old man from Blackfalds;
  • Chase Viau, 23-year-old man from Edmonton; and
  • Richard Westland, 45-year-old man from Medicine Hat.

During the investigations, ICE relied upon the assistance of a number of partner agencies, including: Calgary Police, Edmonton Police, Lethbridge Police, Medicine Hat Police, and RCMP detachments in Barrhead, Beaverlodge, Blackfalds, Cochrane, Edson, Fort MacLeod, Grande Prairie, Onoway, Okotoks, Slave Lake, Stettler, and Wood Buffalo.

Anyone with information about these investigations, or any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.

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Central Alberta

Four shot and two in custody on Central Alberta O’Chiese First Nation

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From Alberta RCMP 

Police responding to active threat on O’Chiese First Nation 

At 5:08 p.m. on April 5, 2021, Rocky Mountain House RCMP received a complaint of a male shot at residence on the Sunchild First Nation. A second report of a shooting was received at 5:34 p.m. at the Marketplace on the O’Chiese First Nation and reports of second male had also been shot. At 5:55 p.m. a third report of a shooting at a residence was received with two males being reported as having been shot.

RCMP officers from neighboring detachments along with the RCMP Emergency Response Team, Air Services and Police Dog Services PDS) were called in to assist.

With the assistance of the O’Chiese Fire Department, residents were advised to shelter in place.

One suspect was tracked by Air Services and arrested by RCMP members on the ground.

PDS located a track near one of the scenes and as a result a second suspect was located and arrested.

The investigation indicates that the suspects were both travelling on an ATV and then after the initial shooting, the suspects stole the victim’s ATV.

The four adult male victims aged 18, 19, 20 and 34 were evacuated from the scene and transported to a local area hospital.  Two of the victims, the 34 year-old and 19-year-old were then transported by STARS to Calgary and Edmonton hospitals. Three of the victims are reported to be in stable condition. The 34-year-old male was reported to be in serious but stable condition.

Keith Beaverbones (28) and Zachary Yellowface (19) both from the O’Chiese First Nation, have each been charged with four counts of attempted murder.

In addition, Zachary Yellowface has also been charged with:

  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a firearm knowing the possession is unauthorized
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm
  • Theft of a motor vehicle
  • Flight from peace officer
  • Resist arrest

After a Judicial hearing both Beaverbones and Yellowface have been remanded and will be next appearing in Rocky Mountain House Provincial Court on April 7, 2021.

“This is a nightmarish situation for everyone involved, including the police, but most importantly for the members of the community” said S/Sgt. Carl Dinsdale of the Rocky Mountain House Detachment. “I’m thankful that there was no loss of life during this event, and grateful for the quick response by members from Rocky Mountain House and surrounding Detachments, as well as local EMS, RCMP Air Services, Police Dog Services and the Emergency Response Team. It was the timely response by all these members, units and partner emergency services that was the key to the quick apprehension of these two suspects without further injury or loss of life.”

As these matters are now before the courts, no further information will be provided.

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