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Crime

Police seek public’s assistance in identifying group of youths involved in swarming incidents at NE rec centre

Published

April 18, 2019
The Edmonton Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying several suspects involved in an ongoing series of violent incidents and personal robberies that have occurred at the Clareview Recreation Centre in northeast Edmonton.

Between January and the beginning of April 2019, a total of 11 violent swarming incidents have been reported to police involving the same group of suspects. In each incident, the same group of suspects has swarmed unsuspecting teen complainants, subjecting them to personal robberies and assaults.

Investigators believe the group is comprised of several black male youths under the age of 18, who have committed random criminal acts, including robberies with offensive weapons, personal robberies and assaults. In one of the incidents, a teen male complainant sustained a life-altering injury after being shot with an air soft pistol in the face.

Police are also investigating another 20 incidents of personal robberies and assaults that have taken place in and around the Clareview Recreation Centre throughout 2019. In these incidents, however, only one suspect and one complainant were involved – not multiple suspects.In all of these incidents, suspects have targeted teen complainants stealing cell phones, head phones, wallets, purses and brand name clothing items.

Police have increased patrols throughout the area, and continue to work with its partners, including the City of Edmonton and Alberta Justice to investigate the series of incidents.

Anyone with information regarding the youths responsible for the 11 swarming incidents and/or any of the single suspect personal robbery incidents inside or outside of the Clareview Recreation Centre is asked to contact the EPS 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.

Target Hardening: Protect yourself against personal robbery
While it may not be possible to prevent a personal robbery, there are some ways that you can minimize the risks:

  • Pick safe routes to get to your destination
  • Plan ahead, and let someone know where you are going and for how long
  • If you are walking after dark, take routes that are well lit and are well populated
  • If you’re using transit, stand or ride near others – do not isolate yourself
  • If you’re driving, avoid parking in an isolated area. Park in a well-lit, highly-visible, high-traffic area
  • Scan the surroundings as you walk or approach or leave your vehicle. If possible, walk with another person
  • If you’re carrying small personal electronics, like an iPod, conceal it under your clothes. These are targets for would-be thieves who can easily sell or exchange the device.
  • Keep your keys ready when walking to your vehicle or home, so that you can get in to your vehicle or home promptly
  • Lock the doors of your vehicle while you are inside.
  • Keep your vehicle in good working condition, especially in winter months, to reduce the chance of breaking down and stopping
  • Call out for help in an emergency, and carry a cell phone with you
  • Report a personal robbery, or any suspicious persons, vehicles or activities to police as soon as possible
  • Please remember that your personal safety is more valuable than your vehicle or other personal belongings.

    Additional general safety tips for you and your family can be found on the Edmonton Police Service website at:

https://www.edmontonpolice.ca/CrimePrevention/PersonalFamilySafety

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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