Post submitted by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)
Three million dollars’ worth of drugs and cash was seized from two Calgary homes, including what is believed to be the province’s largest seizure of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).
On April 27, 2021 ALERT Calgary’s organized crime and gang team concluded a short-term investigation with a record drug haul. ALERT seized enough methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and GHB to equal an estimated 100,000 doses.
The GHB seizure of 113.5 litres is believed to be the largest seizure of its kind in Alberta.
Meanwhile, the amount of methamphetamine and fentanyl pills seized ranks amongst ALERT Calgary’s biggest busts.
“The totality of what was seized is staggering, and represents a high degree of community harm. Behind so many doses are crimes committed to feed that addiction; be it property crimes, thefts, frauds, and robberies, and all feeding into social disorder,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT CEO.
In total, ALERT seized roughly $3 million worth of drugs and cash:
- 113.5 litres of GHB;
- 22.3 kilograms of methamphetamine;
- 18,000 fentanyl pills;
- 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl;
- 4.1 kilograms of cocaine; and
- $386,220 cash.
GHB is colourless and odourless, and is commonly referred to as the “date-rape drug” but is usually abused as a club drug. In July 2013 Edmonton Police Service seized 106 litres of GHB, which at the time, was believed to be Alberta’s largest seizure.
ALERT’s investigation is ongoing and additional charges are being contemplated. To date, 14 drug-related charges have been laid against three suspects:
- Ashley Stanway, 30-year old from Calgary;
- Rayann Blackmore, 22-year old from Calgary; and
- Harmandeep Tiwana, 28-year old from Calgary.
ALERT began its investigation just a month prior after receiving information about suspected drug trafficking activity in the Calgary region.
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.
Alberta paleontologists find dramatic change in bite force as tyrannosaurs matured
Tyrannosaurs are well known as having been ferocious predators at the top of the food chain millions of years ago, but a study led by an Alberta-based researcher shows the reptiles didn’t start out life that way.
François Therrien, curator of dinosaur paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta., said the study focused on tyrannosaur teeth and their dramatic change as they matured.
He collaborated with Darla Zelenitsky and Jared Voris of the University of Calgary, as well as Kohei Tanaka of the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
For the study, published this week in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, the researchers examined the lower jaws from the Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus, types of tyrannosaurs commonly found in Canada that predated the T. rex by millions of years.
“Our fossil records for those two species of tyrannosaurs is excellent,” Therrien said about the collection at the museum.
“We have so many specimens of those … that represent a full growth series from very young individuals that were probably three or four years of age all the way to fully grown adults that were over 20 years of age.”
By examining a wide range of fossils, the researchers were able to see a significant change in tooth size and jaw force once the tyrannosaurs reached about 11 years of age.
Feeding behaviour did not appear to change during the lifespan of the tyrannosaurs, because their jaws were adapted to capturing and seizing prey with their mouths, probably because the forelimbs were too short to grasp food, Therrien said.
“Tyrannosaurs were truly unique when you look at all the theropods,” he said. “They were atypical … because their bite and their skulls were their main weapon for killing prey.”
But what did change, he said, is the size of their teeth and their bite force.
A tyrannosaur at about three years of age was still a deadly predator, but it had smaller blade-like teeth that could only slice through flesh. The bite force, Therrien added, was about 10 per cent that of a fully grown alligator.
That means younger tyrannosaurs ate smaller prey and had to compete with other like-sized predators such as the Velociraptor.
Once tyrannosaurs turned 11, Therrien explained, they went through a growth spurt in which their teeth became larger and wider. By the time the reptiles were fully grown, their bite force was eight times more than that of an alligator.
And that meant their diets also changed.
“These teeth were better adapted for resisting twisting stresses either associated with biting of big prey or even crushing bone.”
Therrien said his study shows that young tyrannosaurs were distinct predators that occupied different ecological niches.
“Young tyrannosaurs were not just scaled-down versions of the mature parents,” he said. “They were creatures that actually had their own lifestyles.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2021.
Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press
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