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Crime

Man charged for alleged bogus business deal; police seek additional complainants

Published

14-Mar-2019 @ 11:30 AM

The Edmonton Police Service is seeking additional complaints after charging a 48-year-old Edmonton man with fraud related to an alleged bogus business deal.

On Monday, March 4, 2019, two complainants approached police about a $70,000 investment they had made in a business deal that they believed may not be legitimate. It was reported to police that Brian Desmond Penney, 48, had approached them with an opportunity to invest in a steel fabrication business. Penney reportedly asked the complainants for money to pay for start-up costs for the business. After conducting a background information search on Penney, the complainants became concerned the opportunity may not be real and they immediately contacted police.

Brian Desmond Penney, 48 years old – Height: 5’9” Weight: 250 lbs

Investigators with the EPS Economic Crimes Section believe that Penney had no intention of establishing the business and on Thursday, March 7, 2019,Penney was arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000.

Detectives are currently investigating similar incidents involving Penney and believe that he has been defrauding individuals for over a year. As a result, they believe there may be other complainants and are releasing his photo to encourage them to come forward.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Penney can contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

 

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Crime

Vegreville RCMP charge seven and seize drugs after search warrants executed 

Published

on

July 16, 2019

Vegreville, Alta. – On July 12, 2019, the Vegreville RCMP with assistance of the Tofield and Viking Detachments, Eastern Alberta District Rural Crime Reduction Unit, Police Dog Services and Edmonton ALERT executed simultaneous search warrants on two residences in the Town of Vegreville. A short time later a third search warrant was executed on a vehicle.

In total, seven persons were arrested and charged with a number of drug, weapons and other offences.  A total of 70 grams of methamphetamine, 155 grams of marihuana, heroin, cocaine, drug trafficking paraphernalia and numerous edged weapons were seized.

The following persons have been charged:

  • Brendan John Lebid (36) of Vegreville was charged with 28 offences some of which include, trafficking in controlled substances, weapon/firearm prohibitions, breach of court orders
  • Gordon Donald Brown (63) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x2) and possession or property obtained by crime (x2)
  • Leon Jordan Tremblay (33) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x2), breaching court orders (x2) and a wepons offence
  • Crystal Lea Williams (31) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substances (x2) and possession of property obtained by crime (x2)
  • Sherry Lynn Cannan (31) of Vegreville was charged with trafficking in controlled substance (x4) and eight other offences
  • Kevin Duane Vrodlak (49) of Snow Lake, Manitoba was charged with obstruction (x2). At the time of his arrest he was also wanted on outstanding warrants out of Vegreville, Edmonton and Hinton
  • Bernie Patrick Chrapko (63) of Vegreville was charged with six offences which included: trafficking in controlled substances, possession of property obtained by crime and breaching court orders

The accused appeared in Vegreville Provincial Court on Monday July 15, 2019.

“This investigation was over a six-month period and through the diligence of investigators efforts were made to disrupt the illicit drug trade along with reducing crimes that are common within the subculture,” says Corporal Leigh Drinkwater, Vegreville Detachment. “This investigation will certainly serve to reduce a number of crimes in the Town of Vegreville and surrounding areas.”

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Crime

Major bust nets a million in drugs and cash

Published

on

Project Embrace Makes 6 Arrests,
$1 Million in Seizures

Edmonton… A drug trafficking network that spanned Alberta and British Columbia has been dismantled. ALERT’s Project Embrace has resulted in the arrest of six suspects and the seizure of over $1 million worth of drugs and cash.

Project Embrace was a nine-month investigation that targeted all facets of the suspected criminal network’s operation, including supply, distribution, and street-level sales. ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime team led the investigation with the assistance of British Columbia’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and Bonnyville RCMP.

More than six kilograms of cocaine and two kilograms of methamphetamine were seized, along with more than $342,000 in cash. In addition, half a dozen suspects were charged, with the most recent arrests taking place in late June 2019.

Project Embrace collected evidence to suggest an Edmonton-based group coordinated the supply of drugs from British Columbia, and then facilitated distribution in Alberta – specifically in the communities of Bonnyville, Lloydminster, St. Paul, Cold Lake, Little Smoky and Frog Lake.

Investigators allege that Matthew Castle was at the centre of the Edmonton group, which involved family members and associates. Castle allegedly conspired with B.C.-based David Davinder Lally and Jacob Fralin to import drugs into Alberta.

Six homes were searched, including four in Edmonton and two Vancouver apartments. In total, investigators seized:

  • 6.5 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 2 kilograms of methamphetamine;
  • 18 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
  • $342,982 cash; and
  • a 2007 Volvo XC90 with a hidden mechanized compartment.

The following suspects were each charged with conspiracy to traffic drugs, in addition to a range of other offences:

  • Matthew Castle, 29, from Edmonton;
  • Terri Lynn Castle, 50, from Edmonton
  • Christian Castle-Wasson, 18, from Edmonton;
  • David Davinder Lally, 40, from Vancouver;
  • Jacob Fralin, 32, from Vancouver; and
  • Ryan Rautiainen, 26, from Lloydminster.

Project Embrace began in October 2018 when Bonnyville RCMP developed criminal intelligence about drug trafficking taking place in the area.

In conjunction with Project Embrace, Bonnyville RCMP arrested a number of street-level dealers in separate investigations. Each of the following was charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking:

  • Charlie Houle, 24, from Bonnyville;
  • Brent Coell, 18, from Bonnyville;
  • Rayden Hill, 22, from Bonnyville;
  • Michael Pownall, 36, from Bonnyville;
  • Britney Coulombe, 27, from Bonnyville;
  • Wayne Friesen, 27, from Bonnyville;
  • Tyanna John, 21, from Bonnyville; and
  • Dustin Gellerman, 27, from Bonnyville.

A number of other police agencies were involved in Project Embrace, including Edmonton Police Service, Vancouver Police Department, RCMP K-Division, Kamloops RCMP, Lloydminster RCMP, Cold Lake RCMP, Elk Point RCMP, Kitscoty RCMP and St. Paul RCMP.

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.

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