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Over 1 million contraband cigarettes seized in Edmonton


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From Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC)

Multiple contraband tobacco products seized by AGLC investigators

More than 1 million contraband cigarettes with a value of more than $665,000 were recently seized following an investigation by Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC).

The total potential lost tax revenue is estimated to be more than $292,000.

The seizure took place at a storage facility in central Edmonton. Jian Wang of Edmonton was charged with trafficking in contraband tobacco contrary to section 121.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The accused is scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on February 17, 2021.

Contraband tobacco:

  • is any tobacco product that does not comply with federal and provincial laws related to importation, marking, manufacturing, stamping and payment of duties and taxes;
  • comes from four main sources: illegal manufacturers, counterfeits, tax-exempt diversions and resale of stolen legal tobacco; and
  • can be recognized by the absence of a red (Alberta) or peach/light tan (Canada) stamp bearing the “DUTY PAID CANADA DROIT ACQUITTÉ” on packages of cigarettes and cigars or pouches of tobacco.

In addition to lost revenues that may otherwise benefit Albertans, illegally manufactured products also pose public health and safety risks as they lack regulatory controls and inspections oversight.

All wholesalers and importers of tobacco into Alberta must be licensed to sell or import tobacco for resale. Furthermore, all tobacco products must be labelled according to federal and provincial regulations. Albertans who suspect illegal tobacco production, packaging and/or trafficking are encouraged to contact AGLC’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit at 1-800-577-2522.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, AGLC enforces the Tobacco Tax Act and conducts criminal investigations of contraband smuggling. In 2019-20, provincial revenue from tobacco taxes was $805 million.

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Edmonton: Three arrested in vehicle, firearms, property theft series

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Three arrested in vehicle, firearms, property theft series

December 3, 2020
Two men and one woman are facing multiple charges in connection to a crime series involving break-and-enters and auto thefts spanning several weeks.

The week of November 16, the EPS Targeted Response to Auto-theft Prevention (TRAP) Team became involved in the investigation of two break-and-enters and a theft of motor vehicle that occurred in a multi-unit residential complex in the area of Hanna Crescent and Haddow Drive in Terwillegar. At that time, the EPS issued a news release seeking to identify a suspect.

The TRAP team took the lead on the file and were able to link five stolen vehicles to a series of theft of motor vehicles, break-and-enters, theft from vehicles and a personal robbery that had occurred between October 25 and November 19 in Edmonton. In collaboration with Parkland RCMP, TRAP also linked the suspects to two rural break-and-enters near Stony Plain, during which at least five firearms were stolen, as well as an ongoing investigation headed by the BC Lower Mainland District RCMP in relation to a rash of break-and-enters and theft of motor vehicles. Investigators determined the suspects had recently relocated from BC to the Stony Plain area.

On November 26, 2020, TRAP and Parkland RCMP Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) arrested Nicholas Konrad Kirszenstein, 36 and Trevor Taylor, 38 in Spruce Grove in connection to the theft series. Police located a loaded handgun on Kirszenstein’s person at the time of his arrest. Tara Brown, 33, was arrested later the same day at a residence in Stony Plain.

Parkland RCMP SCU executed a search warrant at the Stony Plain address, where they located nine stolen firearms, stolen tools, identity documents and more than $8,000 CAD. As well, a total of six stolen vehicles, a stolen trailer and a stolen ATV were recovered as a result of the investigation.

Handgun found on accused at time of arrest

Firearms seized during warrant

Collectively, the EPS and Parkland RCMP have charged the three accused with more than 80 offences.

The EPS has charged Nicholas Konrad Kirszenstein, 36Trevor Colt Taylor, 38, and Tara Brown, 33, with 23 property- related charges each, including break and entertheft of motor vehicle, and possession of stolen propertyKirszenstein also faces a personal robbery charge.

Parkland RCMP has charged Kirszenstein with five break-and-enter and weapons-related offences, Taylor with five offences that include break-and-enter and weapons-related charges as well as assault peace officer, and Brown with four break-and-enter and weapons-related charges.

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UPDATE – RCMP charge 25 year old Red Deer man with second degree murder

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From Red Deer RCMP

Red Deer RCMP call in Major Crimes Unit to investigate incident – Update 3

The Red Deer RCMP and Major Crimes Unit can confirm Dustin Mitchell (Coats) was located today, Dec. 2. Mitchell has been arrested for second degree murder in the homicide of 34-year-old James Rufiange.

The Red Deer RCMP and Major Crimes Unit would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance. No further updates are to come.


Red Deer RCMP call in Major Crimes Unit to investigate incident 

The Red Deer RCMP and Major Crimes Unit are asking the public’s assistance in locating a wanted male in relation to an homicide that occurred on Nov. 25, 2020.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Dustin Mitchell (Coats), age 25 of Red Deer, Alta.

Dustin Mitchell is described as;

  • Caucasian
  • 6 feet tall / 160 lbs
  • Brown hair and brown eyes
  • Tattoos: Still (under right eye) breathing (under left eye) and scroll writing on neck

Dustin’s current whereabouts are unknown and is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached by the public. If located, you are asked to call 911 and provide the location.

Red Deer RCMP are asking the public’s assistance for any information in identifying his whereabouts. Please contact Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.


Nov 26, 2020

At around 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, Red Deer RCMP attended a residence on Stewart Street, in the Sunnybrook neighbourhood. Upon investigation of the scene, a deceased adult was located and the Major Crimes Unit was called in to take carriage of the investigation.

The Red Deer RCMP and Major Crimes believe this to be an isolated incident, and have no further public safety concerns.

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