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Edmonton

TAIT: A haunting Tweet with a Bee Gees classic

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Advertisements Cam shares thoughts, images, questions and even a few giggles five days a week. Cam has always wanted to be a radio announcer, and now, with Voicemaker software, his words are read in broadcast quality. Cam lives with cerebral palsy.

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Alberta

Two Million Dollar Drug Bust in Edmonton

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News Release from ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Project Elk concludes with eight arrests, millions in drugs and assets seized

A two-year cross-Canada drug trafficking investigation has concluded with eight Edmonton suspects facing charges. ALERT seized roughly $2 million in drugs, cash, and proceeds of crime.

Project Elk was a lengthy investigation into an Edmonton-based drug trafficking network that was involved in drug importation. Eight suspects were arrested and charged in October 2021 with offences ranging from drug and firearms related, to conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, to commission of an offence for a criminal organization.

The suspects are scheduled to make their initial court appearances on November 25, 2021.

“Project Elk will prove to be significant disruption to drug markets in Edmonton and other communities in northern Alberta. The negative impacts of drug trafficking are multi-faceted and connect back to societal harms such as gang-related violence, theft, property crimes, and healthcare implications,” said Inspector Kevin Berge, ALERT Edmonton.

ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime team spearheaded the investigation in November 2019, and Project Elk also involved the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service, and specialized RCMP units from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

In August 2020, ALERT intercepted a six-kilogram cocaine shipment that originated in Toronto. The seizure precipitated a series of search warrant executions in which six homes in the Edmonton were searched and one home in Strathcona County.

Project Elk resulted in the seizure of:

  • Five firearms;
  • 10 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 17 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
  • 4.7 kilograms of meth;
  • 2.9 kilograms of cannabis; and
  • $135,000 cash.

In addition, ALERT seized roughly $200,000 in offence related property, including three vehicles, jewelry, diamond rings, and Rolex watches.

“The drug trade doesn’t pay in the end. If you’re not shot, you’re ending up in jail, and you’re only hurting the people around you. It’s not the glamourous lifestyle that is fictionalized for the sake of TV and movies,” said Berge.

A total of 35 criminal charges have been laid against:

  • Tyshawn Walters, 29-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Kashane Walters, 34-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Kariyawasam Kariyawasam, 39-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Tyree Malcolm, 28-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Levi Collinge, a 39-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Boris Derpich, 43-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Stacey Sharpe, 35-year-old woman from Edmonton; and
  • Trevor Bellows, 31-year-old man from Edmonton.

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

Presson, Sunderland, Elizondo all out as Elks clean house after dismal CFL season

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks have cleaned house after a disappointing CFL season, with president and chief executive officer Chris Presson, general manager Brock Sunderland and head coach Jaime Elizondo paying the price.

The Elks announced in a release Monday that the team’s board of directors has terminated the contracts of Presson, Sunderland and Elizondo effective immediately following a season that saw the Elks post a 3-11 record and go winless at Commonwealth Stadium.

Chair Ian Murray said the board decided major changes are needed at the senior leadership level to “rebuild the trust and confidence of Elks fans, season seat holders and the community.”

“The past 18 months have been an exceptionally challenging time for our organization, but none more so than for its fans, season seat holders and the community,” Murray said in the release. “The club will be actively engaging with fans, season seat holders and key stakeholders to learn from their experiences to help with a quick rebuild on and off the field for the 2022 season.”

The Elks said a search is underway for permanent replacements of the CEO and general manager positions. Allan Watt, the team’s executive director of marketing, has been named interim chief operating officer in the meantime.

“We are determined to give this community the competitive team long-time loyal fans have been accustomed to throughout this proud franchise’s history,” Watt said in the release. “We are equally committed to winning over new fans by supporting our community and developing a fun and engaging game experience that appeals to the broad demographic of our great city.”

In addition to piling up losses, the Elks had to deal with a significant COVID-19 outbreak with 14 players testing positive. At the end of the team’s 10-day isolation period, offensive lineman Jacob Ruby was cut for misrepresenting his vaccination status.

The fans weren’t impressed, and let the team know. According to attendance figures published by the league, the Elks averaged 26,210 fans per game for the lowest attendance since the franchise moved into Commonwealth Stadium in 1978.

Sunderland had been GM of the Elks since 2017, while Presson had held his positions since 2019.

Elizondo had just finished his first season as head coach.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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