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Edmonton… ALERT is the province’s response to organized and serious crime and in 2015 the integrated unit arrested nearly 500 offenders and seized more than $36 million worth of drugs and proceeds of crime.
In the past year, ALERT has arrested 485 criminals, including gang members, outlaw bikers, drug cartel members, and child sex abusers. Those individuals were charged with 2,213 criminal offences related to drug trafficking, firearms, organized crime, violent incidents, child sexual exploitation, and luring.
In 2015 ALERT teams assisted 41 different agencies, including law enforcement, government, corrections, and universities. ALERT conducted investigations in 124 different municipalities throughout Alberta and neighbouring provinces.
Related: Top Stories of the Year
Drugs are one of the primary commodities of organized crime and in 2015 ALERT seized $30.23 million worth of drugs and spared countless doses of harmful substances from being abused in Alberta communities. Drug activity harms a community in a variety of ways, including health costs, addiction, property crime, and drug-related violence.
The biggest drug trend from the past year was the emergence of fentanyl. In order to combat fentanyl, ALERT prioritized these types of investigations and seized 21,000 of the deadly pills. Meanwhile, cocaine accounted for the highest dollar value of ALERT’s drug seizures with more than 151 kilograms seized, worth an estimated $15 million.
Related: Largest Seizures of the Year
In 2015 ALERT took 126 firearms out of the hands of criminals as part of organized crime and gang enforcement initiatives. The gun seizures included 21 handguns, 81 long rifles, and 24 shotguns. Additionally, ALERT was heavily involved in violence suppression initiatives in several communities.