From Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)
Drugs, Guns, Cash Seized During Edmonton Search
Three stolen handguns and more than $560,000 worth of drugs and cash have been seized after ALERT searched two Edmonton homes.
ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime and gang team made the seizures and arrested two people after searching homes in the Hamptons and Crystallina Nera neighbourhoods. Edmonton Police Service and RCMP provided assistance when the search warrants were executed on July 17, 2019.
The search warrants were executed as part of a short-term drug trafficking investigation that began in May 2019. In addition to an assortment of drugs and cash, three stolen handguns were recovered.
Two of the handguns were loaded and one was equipped with a suppressor. The handguns had been previously reported stolen from Mayerthorpe, Strathcona County, and Grande Prairie. The firearms will be the subject of forensic examination and ballistics testing to determine if they were used in any other crimes.
“We’re proud of the significant results this investigation yielded in a relatively short period of time,” said Insp. Marc Cochlin, ALERT Edmonton. “Getting these weapons and drugs off the street will go a long way toward making our communities safer.”
The drugs seized have an estimated street value of more than $400,000 and include:
- 2.4 kilograms of cocaine;
- 25 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
- 1 kilogram of methamphetamine;
- 305 grams of MDMA;
- 4 kilograms of dried cannabis, along with cannabis resin, oils, and edibles; and
- over 350 assorted packages of illicit steroids.
More than $166,000 in cash proceeds of crime was also seized.
Two people were arrested. Cody Hilton, 32, and Connie Liu, 53, have been charged with a total of 40 criminal offences, including: possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking; possession of cannabis for the distribution; possession of property obtained by crime; and numerous firearms-related offences.
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. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.
Province of Alberta puts criminals on notice!
From The Province of Alberta
Government announces plan to combat rural crime
The province is standing up for rural Albertans by acting on concerns to deter crime, reinforce property rights and give victims a stronger voice in the justice system.
“We are sending a strong signal to rural Albertans who have been victimized for far too long. We have listened to you. We have heard you. And we are standing with you. We want to ensure you know that we are going to do everything we can as a provincial government to help you feel safe in your communities.”
“In many ways, rural communities are the heart of this province – hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, and always ready and willing to lend a hand to a neighbour in need. It’s heartbreaking to see the scourge of criminal activity worsen in these communities over the past several years, and we need to take action. This is an issue that affects many in my own community, and it is one that I take very seriously. As we promised, our government is taking immediate steps to make sure everyone feels safe and secure in their homes and in their communities.”
Integrating provincial peace officers
In rural areas, police can be stretched across large distances, which can lead to longer response times. To help reduce response times, the government will create the Rural Alberta Provincial Integrated Defence Force – the RAPID Force – by expanding the roles and authorities of 400 peace officers in the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch and the traffic arm of the Alberta Sheriffs. The changes will allow these officers to respond to a wider range of calls and to assist the RCMP and other police services in some emergencies.
Training and related planning is underway, to have the first of these officers available to assist rural Albertans by fall 2020.
Strengthening property rights
To defend the rights of law-abiding property owners, the government will introduce changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act. These changes would eliminate the liability of law-abiding property owners who are protecting their property against trespasses who are, or who are believed to be, in the commission of a criminal act. This provision will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.
To strengthen trespass laws and further defend property rights, planned legislation includes a proposed five-fold increase to the maximum fines for trespassing offences, with fines of up to $10,000 for a first violation and $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to six months. Corporations that help or direct trespassers would face fines up to $200,000. In addition to these increases, a proposed change would increase the maximum amount a court can order for loss of or damage to property from $25,000 to $100,000.
The planned legislation would amend the Petty Trespass Act to add explicit references to better capture land used for crops, animal-rearing and bee-keeping.
A proposed biosecurity regulation under the Animal Health Act would create offences and penalties for people who enter agricultural operations without authorization or encourage others to do so. Such incidents can introduce disease and threaten the welfare of animals.
Cracking down on metal theft
Government has proclaimed the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act to deter metal theft by making it more difficult for criminals to monetize stolen material by selling it for scrap.
Metal theft is a significant public safety risk. Thieves terrify property owners by trespassing and stealing materials such as copper wire and industrial batteries and frequently damage and interfere with critical systems like electrical lines, telecommunications cables and transportation infrastructure.
Criminals often steal metal from property owners and critical infrastructure in isolated areas to avoid detection. This has also made rural Albertans a target of trespassers and thieves looking for metal.
The Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act was passed in 2012, but never proclaimed. An Order in Council signed Nov. 5 puts the legislation into effect immediately.
Regulations outlining requirements on dealers and recyclers to obtain proof of identification from sellers, record and retain details of transactions and share information with law enforcement will be in place by spring 2020. There is also an immediate requirement for scrap metal dealers and recyclers to report any suspected stolen property in their possession to authorities.
A new voice for victims
Community impact statements will recognize the far-reaching effects of a crime and how an entire community can suffer harm or loss.
A new program will enable communities to take part in the sentencing of offenders by letting them submit a statement describing how the crime has affected the community as a whole – including the emotional, physical and economic impact, or fears they may have for their own security.
A community impact statement could be written on behalf of any group of people, such as those in a geographic area, diverse segments of the population, and groups affected by the crime.
Community impact statement forms will be available online in early January.
There will also be additional support for victims, via a new Restitution Recoveries Program. The program will help victims collect outstanding payments on restitution orders by giving government the authority to use enforcement measures against offenders, such as garnishing wages or seizing and selling property, as needed.
This program will reduce red tape for victims who would otherwise have to navigate the legal system and attempt to collect court-ordered restitution at their own risk, effort and expense.
Attempted Robber learns not to mess with patrons at the Blackfalds Motor Inn
From Blackfalds RCMP
Blackfalds RCMP lay charges following robbery attempt
On Nov. 1, 2019 the RCMP took one male into custody following an attempted robbery at the Blackfalds Motor Inn. The male is facing several criminal code charges and the investigation into the incident continues.
At 12:42 a.m., the RCMP responded to a 911 call that a male fired a shot in the bar and that he was being held by bar patrons after he attempted to rob the bar. Responding officers took the adult male into custody and launched an investigation.
It was determined that one shot appears to have been fired, but not towards any person. Another shot from the gun was discharged during a struggle for the gun. Nobody in the bar was injured from either of the gun shots.
27-year-old Ryan Allan Bell from Red Deer is charged with 14 criminal charges, most being firearms related. They include discharge firearm while being reckless, careless use of a firearm and using a firearm in the commission of an offence.
He remains in custody and is next scheduled for court in the Provincial Court of Alberta in Red Deer on Nov. 7, 2019.
The investigation into this incident remains ongoing.
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