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.
Transportation Safety Board investigating helicopter crash in central Alberta
CAMROSE, Alta. — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it is investigating a helicopter crash in central Alberta on the weekend.
The government agency says a Bell 206B helicopter crashed near Camrose on Sunday.
It says a pilot and three passengers were on board.
RCMP say officers from the Killam-Forestburg detachment, as well as paramedics and firefights, were called to the crash.
Mounties say three of the four people on board were taken by ground ambulance to area hospitals.
A fourth occupant was airlifted to an Edmonton hospital.
Neither the RCMP nor the TSB would describe the severity of the injuries, and did not identify the people who were on the helicopter.
The Transportation Safety Board says it is gathering information and “assessing this occurrence.”
The Canadian Press
Running back James Wilder Jr. signs one-year extension with Edmonton Elks
EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks signed running back James Wilder Jr. to a one-year contract extension on Monday.
Wilder, who was scheduled to hit the free-agent market next month, racked up 996 total yards and three touchdowns in 2021.
The Florida State product finished third in CFL rushing yards (770) last season and was named the Elks’ most outstanding player.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2022.
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