From ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team) : Several Albertans arrested
Project Elder Disrupts B.C.-Alberta Drug Pipeline
A two-year investigation by ALERT has cut off a drug pipeline between British Columbia and Alberta. More than $2 million in drugs and cash was seized and a dozen suspects have been arrested.
Project Elder was an ALERT Edmonton investigation that probed interprovincial, wholesale drug distribution. ALERT alleges that a high volume of drugs were being shipped to Alberta involving a complex scheme that included vehicles equipped with hidden compartments.
ALERT alleges the drugs were being shipped to Edmonton and Calgary with further distribution points across the province.
“Organized crime groups don’t respect borders, which is why we need agencies like ALERT that work with law enforcement partners in other jurisdictions to investigate, disrupt and dismantle serious criminal activity such as organized crime and illegal drug trafficking. I want to thank investigators from ALERT and the other organizations involved in Project Elder for their outstanding and tireless work on this long and complex operation that maintains Albertans’ confidence in our law enforcement agencies’ abilities to ensure they are safe, secure and protected in their communities,” said Hon. Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.
Project Elder concluded on June 5, 2019, with several arrests taking place. Additional arrests and search warrants were staggered over the course of the investigation and took place in Edmonton, Calgary, Innisfail, and Vancouver.
Two homes, two businesses and multiple vehicles were searched. The drugs alone have an estimated street value of $1.5 million. Items seized include:
- 9.3 kilograms of cocaine;
- 17.2 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
- 6.0 kilograms of methamphetamine;
- 684 grams of fentanyl powder;
- $514,335 cash;
- a handgun with suppressor and expanded magazine; and
- 5 vehicles with hidden compartments.
ALERT used a number of sophisticated techniques and specialized resources to dismantle the group. Project Elder relied heavily on the assistance of: Edmonton Police Service; CFSEU-BC; North Vancouver RCMP; RCMP E-Division; Innisfail RCMP; RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime; and Alberta Sheriffs surveillance team.
Project Elder dates back to March 2017 when investigators targeted an Edmonton-based drug trafficking group. ALERT was able to expand the scope of that initial investigation and identified the group’s suspected B.C.-based supplier.
ALERT alleges that Neil Kravets coordinated the supply of drugs from B.C. and oversaw the group’s activities. The 28-year-old man from North Vancouver has subsequently been charged with instructing a criminal organization, among a host of other charges.
Eleven suspects with Kravets’s alleged drug network were arrested, many of whom were charged with participation in a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.
A total of 59 charges have been laid against:
- Neil Kravets, 28, from North Vancouver;
- Brandon Worsley, 29, from Edmonton;
- Joseph Nicholson, 29, from Airdrie;
- Brandon Brown, 22, from Edmonton;
- Richard Sansoucy, 56, from Edmonton;
- Gregory Ewald, 44, from Edmonton;
- Fayiz Moghrabi, 28, from Vancouver;
- Randolph Chalifoux, 37, from Edmonton;
- Suk Han, 35, from Vancouver;
- Andy Estrada, 29, from Edmonton;
- Daniel Estrada Sr., 58, from Edmonton; and
- Moshe Banin, 31, 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. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.
Official Installation Ceremony for RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda
From Red Deer College Communications
Red Deer College celebrates new President during Installation Ceremony
Festivities included new traditions and a look towards institution’s future as a university
It was a special day for Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s new President. While he began his tenure in September, Dr. Nunoda was officially installed as RDC’s 11th President during a ceremony Tuesday, November 12.
“I am humbled to receive the warm welcome from the College community and our external partners that I have enjoyed today, as well as during other occasions in the brief time I’ve lived in central Alberta,” says Dr. Nunoda.
Red Deer College was a buzz with special moments during the Installation Ceremony as the College community, government representatives, dignitaries and community members from across central Alberta welcomed formally Dr. Nunoda.
Indigenous drumming and singing provided entertainment for the audience, as well as signifying RDC’s continued commitment to collaborating with Indigenous communities in the spirit of reconciliation. In recognition of Dr. Nunoda’s proud Japanese Canadian heritage, members of the Students’ Association honoured him with a loaned piece from the College’s permanent art collection. The students presented a colour woodblock on silk by famed Japanese artist Kunisada that dates from 1848-58. This art will be displayed by Dr. Nunoda in his office during his term.
A new tradition for Red Deer College was introduced as Dr. Nunoda took an Oath of Office led by Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Dr. Nunoda also received a new Presidential stole that he will wear as part of his academic regalia at future Convocation Ceremonies and other important events.
“On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Governors, I was honoured to host today’s Installation Ceremony as we welcome Dr. Nunoda into our College community at this momentous point in our institution’s history,” says Guy Pelletier, Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. “Dr. Nunoda has already identified a strong path for where he will lead this institution into the future as a university, and we are very excited to collaborate with him and our community to realize this bold transformation that has been decades in the making.”
Dr. Nunoda provided the audience with a glimpse of his leadership and the future he envisions for Red Deer University during today’s ceremony. This vision includes continuing to serve learners as a polytechnic university offering more diverse programs. As a university, this includes degrees, apprenticeships and the full breadth of other credentials that RDC currently offers. Additionally, existing and future facilities on RDC’s vibrant campuses will provide opportunities for community collaboration and a culture of engagement. Recognizing Alberta’s current economic conditions, Dr. Nunoda identified the need for a strong business model that contributes to the institution’s economic and environmental sustainability.
While honouring RDC’s past successes and strong reputation, Dr. Nunoda also noted it will be important to highlight the value of practical education and signature learning experiences that students will receive from Red Deer University, so that employers realize the benefit of the skills and knowledge that work-ready graduates will provide to the local and global economy.
“We have an exciting future ahead as Red Deer University, continuing to grow practical learning opportunities for our students, and creating stronger connections with individuals and organizations in our region,” says Dr. Nunoda. “Through innovative solutions, creative problem solving and an energetic touch of imagination, we will reach our goals and position Red Deer University as the first choice for post-secondary education.”
Dr. Nunoda identified a strong desire to work with government partners to allow the institution to begin calling itself Red Deer University starting in September 2020, citing the institution’s readiness and work that is currently underway. This work includes program development for three new degrees: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration, with students anticipated to begin classes as early as September 2021, pending government approval.
Learn more about RDC’s 11th President, Dr. Peter Nunoda, by visiting rdc.ab.ca/president
Provincial Opposition: Why did Kenney’s closest advisor stay at London hotels four times in the last 6 months?
From Alberta’s NDP Caucus
TOP KENNEY AIDE BILLED ALBERTA TAXPAYERS FOR THOUSANDS IN FLIGHTS, MEALS AND FIVE-STAR HOTELS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Premier Jason Kenney’s closest adviser has billed Alberta taxpayers for more than $45,000 worth of expenses, including thousands of dollars’ worth of flights, meals and stays in London’s fanciest hotels.
David Knight-Legg, a Yale and Oxford-educated international banker currently earning $195,000 a year as the premier’s Principal Advisor, has expensed three times more than any other member of the Premier’s staff, including the Chief of Staff. Knight-Legg’s expenses after six months are more than Rachel Notley’s Principal Secretary expensed over four years.
Among these expenses are $18,680.77 for four trips to London, each three to four days long, where he stayed either at the five-star Chilworth London Paddington Hotel, or in the upscale Soho neighbourhood at the historic Kettner’s hotel, “home to aristocrats since 1867”, which was opened by Napoleon III’s chef and features an art-nouveau champagne bar. Knight-Legg also billed Alberta taxpayers for Ubers, train rides and 43 meals in Great Britain’s capital.
“What on Earth could this close adviser of the Premier be doing in London?” asked Heather Sweet, Official Opposition Critic for Democracy and Ethics and MLA for Edmonton-Manning. “While the Premier is hiking taxes, cutting funding for schools and hospitals, disbanding firefighting teams and throwing Albertans off the senior’s drug plan amid claims the province is broke, David Knight-Legg was living a life of luxury in London at Alberta taxpayer’s expense.
“We have seen no substantive announcements about policy or collaboration with the United Kingdom. In fact, we can’t find a record of a member of the Kenney cabinet going to London or referencing the trade relationship with the country as a whole. Albertans paid for four luxurious trips in six months. The Premier must immediately release the full, detailed itineraries of each of David Knight-Legg’s trips. Otherwise Albertans have no way of knowing if this former international banker was conducting his own business and making the taxpayer pick up the bill,” Sweet said.
Although the bulk of Knight-Legg’s banking career has been in China and the Pacific Rim, he has yet to travel west of Vancouver on government business. There’s also no evidence that any officials from Economic Development and Trade accompanied Knight-Legg on his trips to London.
Last week, Premier Kenney drew widespread criticism for spending Alberta taxpayers’ money on private aircraft to carry himself, several other conservative premiers and their wives from a pancake party photo-op in Calgary to a meeting in Saskatoon.
“Albertans have a right to know what the purpose of these over-the-top extravagant trips was, and what return – if any – they got for them,” Sweet said. “The premier must apologize for the ongoing pattern of entitlement and frivolous spending of Albertans’ tax dollars in his office.”
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