ALERT launches integrated organized crime unit in Lethbridge

ALERT launches integrated organized crime unit in Lethbridge

April 12, 2012

CFSEU-Lethbridge hits the ground running with first significant drug bust

Lethbridge… Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) has opened its newest serious and organized crime unit in Lethbridge.

The Lethbridge Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) was launched on April 1. Fifteen of the 21 positions on the team have been filled with members of the RCMP and Lethbridge Regional Police Service who will work together to investigate, disrupt and dismantle serious crime, such as drug trafficking networks and marihuana grow operations. The team will also target street-level gang activity and probe larger organized crime groups both inside and outside Alberta’s borders.

Since ALERT formed in 2006, it has set up CFSEUs in Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray, and Grande Prairie. The new Lethbridge unit is part of ALERT’s plan to establish a CFSEU in every region of the province.

“Experience has taught us that this integrated approach to tackling organized crime works,” said Staff Sergeant Wes Houston, officer in charge of CFSEU-Lethbridge. “We are pleased to expand our efforts to the Lethbridge region and work with our partners in the area to create safer communities for the people who live here.”

Eager to get to work, CFSEU-Lethbridge is already showing positive results. On April 12, only two weeks after launching the team, CFSEU investigators concluded a drug trafficking investigation with assistance from the Lethbridge Regional Police Service Community Policing Division.

A traffic stop and subsequent search warrant at a south Lethbridge residence led police to 87 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of approximately $14,500. Investigators also located a small quantity of marihuana and $40,315 cash.

Charged in relation to this investigation are Marco Sanchez, 30, with possession for the purpose of trafficking, proceeds of crime, and possession of a controlled substance, and Chantel Ward, 25, with possession for the purpose of trafficking and proceeds of crime.

ALERT was established by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.




Media inquiries may be directed to:
Staff Sergeant Wes Houston
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)

Candace Cook
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)