ALERT’s Top Headlines of 2018

It has been another eventful year here at ALERT, so we thought we’d take a look back at some of the biggest headlines we had in 2018 …

 

SUSPECTED CARFENTANIL IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA BUST

February 2018 — ALERT urged caution after a significant amount of what was believed to be a powerful opioid was seized in a bust in southern Alberta. One person was arrested. On February 7, 2018, ALERT’s Lethbridge [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] arrested a 27-year-old woman outside a business in Claresholm, Alta. During the arrest, investigators seized a total of 114.5 grams of powder that they suspect could contain carfentanil, a drug that is 100 times more potent than [alert-tooltip title=”Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is much more powerful than many others in the opioid family, including heroin, morphine and codeine. Click for more info.”]fentanyl[/alert-tooltip].


CALGARY CRIME GROUP LINKED TO FENTANYL LAB, DRUG IMPORTATION, HOMICIDE

March 2018 — A year-long investigation by ALERT dismantled an alleged [alert-tooltip title=”One of ALERT’s main goals is to disrupt and dismantle organized crime. Click here for more info.”]organized crime[/alert-tooltip] group operating out of Calgary. ALERT worked alongside the Calgary Police Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to link the group to numerous alleged criminal offences. Project Arbour was an investigation by ALERT Calgary’s [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] that uncovered a Calgary organized crime group’s alleged operation of a [alert-tooltip title=”Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is much more powerful than many others in the opioid family, including heroin, morphine and codeine. Click for more info.”]fentanyl[/alert-tooltip] and [alert-tooltip title=”Anabolic steroids are chemicals similar to the male hormone testosterone; doctors prescribe them to treat problems such as delayed puberty or other conditions that cause the body to produce lower-than-normal amounts of testosterone. Click for more info.”]steroids[/alert-tooltip] lab; cross-border drug trade and Utah’s largest [alert-tooltip title=”Methamphetamine (or meth) is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It is often seen in the form of a white powder with a bitter taste or a pill. Click for more info.”]methamphetamine[/alert-tooltip] seizure; and an alleged role in the murder of Colin Reitberger and Anees Amr. Project Arbour concluded on February 15, 2018, when several Calgary homes were searched and arrests were made.


ARSENAL OF WEAPONS SEIZED FROM EDMONTON BROTHERS

May 2018 — A total of eight [alert-tooltip title=”More and more, ALERT investigators are finding firearms when they investigate organized crime groups who are involved in drug trafficking. Click to find out more.”]firearms[/alert-tooltip] – including assault rifles, suppressors, and over-capacity magazines – were seized as the result of an ALERT investigation in Edmonton and Fort McMurray. ALERT’s Edmonton [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] seized the high-powered firearms following an investigation that primarily focused on two brothers. Alexander and Ryan Kurkut, both 27 years old, were arrested on May 18, 2018, and charged with numerous firearms offences.


PROJECT RAILS MAKES A DENT IN CENTRAL ALBERTA DRUG TRAFFICKING

July 2018 — A lengthy [alert-tooltip title=”One of ALERT’s main goals is to disrupt and dismantle organized crime. Click here for more info.”]organized crime[/alert-tooltip] investigation in the Red Deer area resulted in the seizure of five [alert-tooltip title=”More and more, ALERT investigators are finding firearms when they investigate organized crime groups who are involved in drug trafficking. Click to find out more.”]firearms[/alert-tooltip] and more than $250,000 worth of drugs and cash. Project Rails was a year-long investigation by ALERT’s Red Deer [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] into suspected drug trafficking. The investigation concluded with the arrest of two suspects on June 21, 2018. A total of 57 criminal charges have been laid.


DUTCH MAN ARRESTED FOR ONLINE SEXUAL OFFENCES AGAINST ALBERTA YOUTH

July 2018 — An international [alert-tooltip title=”Child exploitation can involve making, distributing or accessing child pornography; luring; sexual assault; or other offences. Click for more info.”]child exploitation[/alert-tooltip] investigation that began in Alberta led to the arrest of a man in Rotterdam, Netherlands. At least five victims were identified, including a Lethbridge youth. ALERT’s [alert-tooltip title=”The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit is under ALERT’s umbrella and investigates offences related to the exploitation of children over the Internet. Click for more info.”]Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit[/alert-tooltip] worked alongside the Lethbridge Police Service and National Police Netherlands on the case that involved online sexual extortion. A suspect was arrested in Rotterdam on July 4, 2018.


PROJECT ENTRY IMPLICATES OUTLAW BIKERS IN DRUG TRAFFICKING

August 2018 — A joint investigation between ALERT and RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime dismantled an extensive [alert-tooltip title=”Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to parts of South America. Click for more info.”]cocaine[/alert-tooltip] distribution network linked to a member of the Hells Angels and support club members. Project Entry was a year-long investigation that resulted in 10 people charged with 45 criminal offences. Those accused allegedly fulfilled various roles within a cocaine distribution network that impacted the communities of Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Cold Lake, Whitecourt, and Grande Prairie. Project Entry resulted in the seizure of five kilograms of cocaine, half a kilogram of the buffing agent Phenacetin, [alert-tooltip title=”Although cannabis became legal here in Canada in October 2018, many cannabis products and derivatives remained illegal. One such derivative is cannabis resin, more commonly known as “shatter.” Click for more info.”]cannabis resin[/alert-tooltip], and a handgun. Multiple vehicles and motorcycles were seized, along with $13,000 cash proceeds of crime.


EDMONTON FENTANYL PROCESSING LAB SHUT DOWN

August 2018 — ALERT Edmonton’s [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] shut down a [alert-tooltip title=”Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is much more powerful than many others in the opioid family, including heroin, morphine and codeine. Click for more info.”]fentanyl[/alert-tooltip] processing lab operating out of a home in southeast Edmonton. Two people were arrested and nearly $1 million worth of drugs were seized. With the help of the Edmonton Police Service’s Clandestine Lab Team, ALERT investigators executed a search warrant on the home in the Silverberry neighbourhood on August 8, 2018. Once inside, they discovered a lab where fentanyl was being processed to look like [alert-tooltip title=”Heroin is an opioid, a class of painkilling drugs derived from opium harvested from the seeds of poppy plants. Click for more info.”]heroin[/alert-tooltip]. More than two kilograms of processed fentanyl was seized, which, if sold as heroin, has an estimated value of $800,000.

 


FAMILY DOCTOR ALLEGEDLY ATTEMPTED TO ARRANGE FOR SEX WITH A CHILD

June 2018 — A family physician from Sylvan Lake was charged with [alert-tooltip title=”Child exploitation can involve making, distributing or accessing child pornography; luring; sexual assault; or other offences. Click for more info.”]child exploitation[/alert-tooltip] offences following a joint investigation involving ALERT’s [alert-tooltip title=”The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit is under ALERT’s umbrella and investigates offences related to the exploitation of children over the Internet. Click for more info.”]Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit[/alert-tooltip] and the Victoria Police Department. Dr. Fred Janke was arrested in Edmonton on June 28, 2018, with the help of the Edmonton Police Service. The 62-year-old man is facing charges of making arrangements to commit sexual offences against a child, making child pornography, and distribution of child pornography.


PROJECT FORTUNE DISMANTLES COCAINE TRAFFICKING NETWORK

August 2018 — A [alert-tooltip title=”Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to parts of South America. Click for more info.”]cocaine[/alert-tooltip] trafficking network operating out of Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Fort McMurray was dismantled following a lengthy ALERT investigation. Project Fortune resulted in the seizure of more than $1 million worth of cocaine and cash, as well as 49 criminal charges being laid against seven suspects. The investigation unfolded over 16 months and concluded with arrests on July 26, 2018. Project Fortune targeted wholesale cocaine trafficking in northern Alberta communities. ALERT conducted search warrants at three homes in north Edmonton and two residences in Fort McMurray. A total of eight kilograms of cocaine was seized, along with $215,000 cash proceeds of crime.


COCAINE, FIREARMS SEIZED FOLLOWING JOINT INVESTIGATION IN GRANDE PRAIRIE

January 2018 — More than half a kilogram of [alert-tooltip title=”Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to parts of South America. Click for more info.”]cocaine[/alert-tooltip] was seized along with two [alert-tooltip title=”More and more, ALERT investigators are finding firearms when they investigate organized crime groups who are involved in drug trafficking. Click to find out more.”]firearms[/alert-tooltip] following a joint investigation between ALERT, Fairview RCMP, Peace River RCMP and Grande Prairie RCMP. ALERT’s Grande Prairie [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] made the seizure on January 5, 2018, during a traffic stop and the search of a home in Fairview, Alta.; three people were arrested in total. RCMP detachments from Fairview, Peace River, and Grande Prairie were all involved in the investigation, which dates back to September 2017.

 


SEARCH OF CALGARY HOME YIELDS DRUGS, HANDGUN

August 2018 — Two men were arrested after ALERT searched two homes and two vehicles in Calgary and seized more than $700,000 worth of drugs and cash. ALERT’s Calgary [alert-tooltip title=”ALERT has organized crime and gang teams based in seven cities across Alberta. Click for more info.”]organized crime and gang team[/alert-tooltip] made the seizure on July 26, 2018 after searching homes in the neighbourhoods of Copperfield and Douglasdale. Both homes were allegedly being used to package and press [alert-tooltip title=”Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to parts of South America. Click for more info.”]cocaine[/alert-tooltip] for street-level drug sales.


PROJECT MAVERICK DISMANTLES COCAINE TRAFFICKING NETWORK

November 2018 — A Medicine Hat-based [alert-tooltip title=”Cocaine is a powerful, addictive drug derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to parts of South America. Click for more info.”]cocaine[/alert-tooltip] trafficking network has been dismantled following a lengthy and complex investigation by ALERT. Project Maverick has resulted in charges against 10 suspects and the seizure of roughly $200,000 worth of drugs, cash proceeds of crime, and property obtained by crime. Fourteen [alert-tooltip title=”More and more, ALERT investigators are finding firearms when they investigate organized crime groups who are involved in drug trafficking. Click to find out more.”]firearms[/alert-tooltip] were also seized.

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.