Connect with us

Alberta

Internet Child Exploitation unit arrests over 2 dozen Albertans for online child sexual exploitation offences

Published

5 minute read

From the ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit

26 Albertans Charged in Online Child Sexual Exploitation Investigations

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit has arrested 26 suspects from across Alberta for offences related to online child sexual exploitation.

Between June 20 and September 17, 2020, ICE has charged 26 suspects with 63 offences. Most of the arrests came as the result of investigative referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre, which works with internet and social media providers to track and investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.

“In Alberta, those who participate in the exploitation of children will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Government of Alberta will ensure our law enforcement has the tools and resources to track down child predators and bring them to justice,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “On behalf of all law-abiding Albertans, I thank ALERT and the law enforcement organizations across the province that worked tirelessly to arrest and charge these criminals. Alberta’s justice system is here for all Albertans, especially for children victimized by sexual predators.”

“The internet isn’t anonymous and these arrests demonstrate ALERT’s willingness to travel to all corners of the province to make arrests, put predators behind bars, and keep kids safe,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT Chief Executive Officer.

There is no definitive link between the suspects other than the nature of offences allegedly committed. Each of the suspects was charged with at least one child pornography offence:

  • a 16-year-old young offender from Sherwood Park;
  • Kevin Borchert, a 29-year-old man from Sherwood Park;
  • David Cadieux, a 27-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Joseph Cadrain, a 32-year-old man from Strathmore;
  • Gary Campbell, a 28-year-old man from Lamont;
  • Michael Ciesla, a 32-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Michael Courtepatte, a 44-year-old man from Athabasca;
  • Victor Delage, a 29-year-old man from Wainright;
  • Gerald Donel, a 57-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Brian Farris, a 40-year-old man from Grande Prairie;
  • Humberto Ferreyra, a 51-year-old man from Lake Louise;
  • Coby Franz, a 42-year-old man from Alder Flats;
  • Sean Giles, a 41-year-old man from Lethbridge;
  • Brock Hann, a 21-year-old man from Morinville;
  • Richard Lepchuk, a 59-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Christian Meier, a 52-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Troy Melnyk, a 49-year-old man from Spruce Grove;
  • Stephen Miehe, a 28-year-old man from Cardston;
  • Alasdair Mills, a 61-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • David Peeke, a 45-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Christopher Piers-Hanley, a 31-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Kalon Specht, a 30-year-old man from Edmonton;
  • Andrew Stredick, a 30-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Charles Tadashore, a 43-year-old man from Calgary;
  • Laurence Thrasher, a 40-year-old man from Edmonton; and
  • Michael Vandermay, a 52-year-old man from Calgary.

During the investigations and subsequent arrests, ICE worked in collaboration with a number of police agencies, including: Caribou Child and Youth Centre; Calgary Police Service; Edmonton Police Service; and various RCMP detachments, including Grande Prairie, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, Wainright, Breton, Strathmore, Olds, Morinville, Cardston, Lake Louise, Fort Saskatchewan, and Athabasca.

ICE is an integrated team that includes members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP. ICE investigates offences involving child pornography, any computer-related child sexual abuse, child luring over the Internet, voyeurism involving victims under the age of 18, and child sex trade/tourism.

ICE speculates that the rise in the number of investigative referrals is likely in part related to digital dependency during COVID-19 isolation measures.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has information on its site dedicated to supporting families during the COVID-19 crisis, including resources for families and caregivers; schools and educators; and child-serving organizations. This information is available at: https://protectchildren.ca/en/resources-research/supporting-you-through-covid-19/

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.

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

Follow Author

Alberta

Regulator lays charges against Tidewater Midstream for acidic water release

Published on

CALGARY — The Alberta Energy Regulator has laid charges against Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. for a release of acidic water in west-central Alberta.

The regulator says the release occurred in Oct. 2019 at Tidewater’s Ram River sour gas processing plant near Rocky Mountain House. 

It says the acidic water flowed into a nearby creek.

Calgary-based Tidewater has been charged with 10 violations under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, including releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect. 

The regulator also alleges that Tidewater failed to report the release of the acidic water as soon as possible, and failed to take all reasonable measures to repair and remedy the spill.

Tidewater is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 8 in Rocky Mountain House.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 21, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TWM)

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Alberta

Alberta's top doctor says COVID-19 cases receding but vigilance needed at Halloween

Published on

EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says COVID-19 case numbers in the province continue to recede.

But Dr. Deena Hinshaw cautions that the hospital situation remains precarious given the high number of patients.

And she says Albertans can’t afford to let up on health restrictions, particularly with Halloween coming up.

There were 770 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday for a new total of 10,434 active cases.

There were eight more deaths, bringing that total to 3,014.

Alberta Health Services says there are 912 people in hospital with COVID-19, and that 201 of them are in intensive care.

Alberta remains under gathering restrictions for indoor and outdoor events, and Hinshaw says it’s important to stick to those limits at Halloween.

Hinshaw urged those setting out candy for trick or treaters to not use bowls, but to set out the candy spaced apart on a surface like a blanket.

She says those who want to have a Halloween party should consider a small gathering of vaccinated people.

“This is not the year for large Halloween parties,” Hinshaw said.

“If you’re planning a Halloween gathering try to have it outdoors and make sure the limit of no more than 20 people is observed.”

Hinshaw noted that last Oct. 31 there were 5,600 active COVID-19 cases, about half the current total. There were 141 people in hospital with the illness a year ago.

Alberta continues to battle a fourth wave of the pandemic.

It has more than doubled the normal number of 173 critical care beds and has had to cancel thousands of non-urgent surgeries to handle the surge.

Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley says with winter coming and COVID-19 still circulating, the province needs to provide stable funding to social agencies for winter emergency shelters.

“All people deserve to live in dignity and have a safe place to call home,” said Notley. “These calls are urgent. It’s getting cold outside, and our northern winter will be here soon.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Trending

X