Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams

2022-23 Annual Report

Covering the reporting period of
April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023

ALERT was established by the provincial government in 2006 to bring
together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to
combat organized and serious crime. Integrated teams specialize in the areas
of organized crime and gangs, online child exploitation, criminal intelligence,
and law enforcement training. Over 400 police and civilian staff work together,
and are based in eight communities across the province.

A Letter from our CEO & Minister

Executive Statement

Working in every corner of the province, our specialized teams arrested 309 offenders and laid 1,548 charges in relation to organized crime, drug trafficking, firearms offences, child exploitation, human trafficking – tackling some of the most complex crime threats in Alberta.

ALERT’s integrated model is like no other in the country and this approach has fostered a legacy of successful investigations.

– Supt. Marc Cochlin

ALERT CEO

As Alberta’s government, we want every individual in this province to feel safe and secure, no matter which community they choose to call home.

This requires dedication, vigilance, and adaptability to ensure the province’s law enforcement agencies are one step ahead of the gangs and organized crime groups that threaten the well-being of Alberta communities and neighbourhoods.

– Minister Mike Ellis

Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

Partnerships

ALERT’s co-operative approach to policing has proven to be an extremely successful model, especially as the criminal landscape evolves and pushes beyond local and regional boundaries. ALERT is a non-profit agency that is governed by a Board of Directors and an appointed Chief Executive Officer. This unique designation allows ALERT to remain arm’s length from the provincial government. A Civilian Advisory Committee also provides an enhanced opportunity for community engagement and stakeholder relations.

Board of Directors

ALERT is governed by a Board of Directors that is responsible for the high-level strategic direction. ALERT’s Board of Directors is represented by the Alberta’s Chiefs of Police, Commanding Officer of Alberta RCMP, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Security Division.

Chief Graham Abela | Taber Police Service
Chief Keith Blake | Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service
Chief Lorne Blumhagen | Lacombe Police Service
Acting Chief Grant Buckskin | Blood Tribe Police Service
Chief Dale Cox | Lakeshore Regional Police Service
Chief Dean LaGrange | Camrose Police Service
Chief Dale McFee | Edmonton Police Service
Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh | Lethbridge Police Service
Chief Alan Murphy | Medicine Hat Police Service
Chief Mark Neufeld | Calgary Police Service
Chief Farooq Sheikh | Alberta Sheriffs
D/Commr. Curtis Zablocki | RCMP “K” Division
ADM Marlin Degrand | Alberta Justice & Solicitor General

Civilian Advisory CommiTTEE

ALERT’s Civilian Advisory Committee was created in April 2018 and is comprised of representatives from the Alberta Association of Police Governance, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.
Diane Piche, Chair | City of Lacombe
Doug Rodwell, Vice-Chair | City of Lloydminster
Marilyn North Peigan | Calgary Police Commission
Ken McMullen | Red Deer Protective Services
Violet Megunis | Tsuut’ina Police Commission
Shazia Amiri | Edmonton Police Commission
John McDonald | Taber Municipal Police Commission
Peter Brown | City of Airdrie
Kara Westerlund | Brazeau County

PROJECT SUCCESSES 2022-23

$55 MILLION:
Project Cobra

Project Cobra is a nearly three-year organized crime investigation into transnational drug importation, drug trafficking, and money laundering. More than an estimated $55 million worth of methamphetamine and cocaine has been seized following this cross-border investigation by ALERT, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. As the result of enforcement initiatives on both sides of the border, 928 kilograms of methamphetamine and 6 kilograms of cocaine were intercepted. In addition, approximately $7 million worth of assets have been seized or placed under criminal restraint.

0 kg

Total quantity of seized
methamphetamine

$ 0 M

$7 Million in
restrained/seized assets

0

Firearms (handguns, rifles, submachine guns, suppressors)

0
Criminal offences across 15
individuals and 1 business
Project Carlos

Project Carlos is an investigation led by ALERT Calgary’s organized crime team with more than $4.5 million worth of drugs and nearly $1 million in cash seized throughout the city.

Read more
$ 0

Over $4.5 million in seized drugs (cocaine, ketamine, meth, fentanyl and others)

Project Radar

ALERT’s Project Radar resulted in the seizure of $335,000 worth of drugs including fentanyl and meth, in Red Deer and Lloydminster. Three suspects were charged.

Read more
$ 0

Approximate value of seized drugs including methamphetamine and fentanyl

Project Frontier

Project Frontier was a 14-month investigation led by ALERT’s Fort McMurray organized crime team resulting in the seizure of roughly $500,000 in drugs and cash.

Read more
$ 0

Approximate value of seizure (methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, cash)

Drug Trafficking | Criminal Networks

DISRUPT & DISMANTLE ORGANIZED CRIME

$10,898,269

EST. VALUE – SEIZED DRUGs (2022-23)[5]

Drug trafficking is one of the top criminal market commodities for organized crime. ALERT leverages its integrated model, in tandem with partners nationally and internationally to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking activities through a co-ordinated and collaborative approach. ALERT’s integrated approach yields significant success, as showcased this year during Project Cobra.

$2,178,497

Estimated value of seized fentanyl (2022-23)

$3,031,821

Estimated value of seized methamphetamine (2022-23)

ALERT is always looking to expand the scope of investigations and move up the food chain. We rely on criminal intelligence from our partner agencies to collaboratively dismantle these types of multi-jurisdictional drug networks.

– Acting Inspector Blayne Eliuk, ALERT Edmonton

0

Arrests (2022-23)

0

Charges (2022-23)

0

Firearms Seized (2022-23)

$ 0

Proceeds of Crime (2022-23)

Seizure Substance Breakdown (Street Value; 2022-23)

No Data Found

ALERT CFSEU Trends

No Data Found

DISRUPTING & DISMANTLING ORGANIZED CRIME

FIREARMS

In Alberta, criminal organizations perpetrate serious and violent crime. Firearms are an integral part of organized criminal activity. Without firearm trafficking, it’s more difficult for criminals to obtain a firearm for the purpose of committing illegal activities. ALERT teams work together with our partner agencies to tackle and disrupt emerging trends, such as 3D-printed firearms (“ghost guns”). Our integrated model allows for quick adaptation to these emerging trends to keep communities safe in Alberta. We also continue to investigate traditional trafficking, such as straw purchasing, theft, and smuggling – which often go hand-in-hand with drug or human trafficking.

0

Firearm Seizures (2022-23)

0 +
Firearms Seizures All-time (2006-present)

3D printed firearms recklessly circumvent the lawful process of firearms possession and fly in the face of law-abiding firearms owners. As technology evolves, ALERT and our policing partners will remain steadfast in responding to emerging trends to keep Alberta communities safe.

– Staff Sgt. Leon Borbandy, ALERT Lethbridge

No Data Found

June 29, 2022

A MAC-10 submachine gun was amongst three firearms seized by ALERT Edmonton's organized crime team in relation to an address associated with drug trafficking. The MAC-10 is prohibited in Canada and the United States and fires 1,200 rounds per minute.

Read more
September 8, 2022

3D printers and firearms in various stages of completion were seized following an investigation into firearms manufacturing. ALERT worked with Vulcan RCMP, Lethbridge Police, and the RCMP’s National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.

Read more
January 26, 2023

Crossbows, rifles, shotguns, ammunition anda 2013 Polaris RZR 900 have been seized from a home in Cypress County following an investigation into stolen property by ALERT Medicine Hat’s regional property crime unit, working with MHPS and Redcliff RCMP.

Read more

Internet Child Exploitation

Protecting Kids Online

2,994

Case File Intakes (2022-23)

ALERT’s ICE (Internet Child Exploitation) teams investigate a range of criminal offences involving child pornography, any computer-related child sexual abuse, child luring over the internet, voyeurism involving underage victims, and child sex trade/tourism. ICE teams also investigate sextortion involving minors. ALERT’s ICE units are among the most robust and sophisticated police units in the province.
0

Arrests during the course of Internet Child Exploitation investigations this year.
0

Charges laid following investigations and search warrants.
0

Children rescued by our teams from ICE-related harms.
0

Seized exhibits producing over two million CSAM photos/videos.

The person sitting behind the computer screen, the extorter, is looking for financial gain. Boys will send a picture or video and immediately get a message back saying, 'thanks for the picture, but now I want money'. We need our children and our teens to understand the dangers of sending these pictures and videos to strangers online so we can stop the cycle. But we also need them to know that we're here to help.

– Det. Dean Jacobs, ICE South

December 20, 2022

ICE Forensic Technicians, our Criminal Analyst and investigators have discovered thousands of videos and images that depict upwards of potentially 100 additional, unidentified victims of child luring and sexual assault.

Read more
February 2, 2023

ICE executed a search warrant at a home in Airdrie. Investigators were led to the home after receiving information about an unknown suspect uploading suspected child sexual exploitation materials via social media platforms.

Read more
February 7, 2023

ICE rescued a child on February 4, 2023 after entering the home under exigent circumstances. A tip from the FBI, received less than 48 hours earlier, detailed alleged prolific and ongoing sexual abuse of a young child in Alberta.

Read more

Cases On the Rise

Over the past five years, ALERT ICE file intakes have increased by over 185%. ICE units work non-stop to combat online predators in some of the most demanding cases involving minor victims – from toddlers to teenagers. Throughout Canada, an 815% increase was observed in reported online sexual luring targeting Canadian children, in the last five years.[4] ALERT leverages combined and collaborative effort through its integrated model to swiftly investigate online child sex offenders. Using cutting-edge technology specific to this domain of judicial work, and pooling resources through multi-jurisdiction cases, our ICE teams are able to overcome the internet-based challenges of counter-exploitation work to keep children and youth in Alberta safe.

While we continue to work hard and expand our resources to combat Internet Child Exploitation, you can help too – knowledge is power:

No Data Found

No Data Found

0
CSAM Photos/Videos
(Quantity; 2022-23)
0

CSAM Photos/Videos
(Total; 2018-Present)

0 %

↑ Increase in file intakes
(case referrals; over past year)

0 %

↑ Increase in file intakes
(case referrals; over past 5 years)

HUMAN TRAFFICKING & Counter Exploitation

STOPPING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

In Alberta, human trafficking is real – and it doesn’t involve shipping containers like in the movies. Since the conception of ALERT’s human trafficking unit in 2020, teams based in Calgary and Edmonton investigate domestic human trafficking involving sexual exploitation occurring in Alberta. Together, they work in collaboration with national, provincial and municipal agencies, and non-governmental organizations, involved in rescuing and supporting survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
0

Arrests (2022-23)

0

Charges (2022-23)

0

Victim Interventions (2022-23)

0 +

Agency Assists (2020-present)

Human trafficking is an industry that operates in the shadows and I believe there’s a general naivety about its presence and impact in our communities. ALERT is committed to targeting perpetrators, but more importantly, equipping survivors and loved ones with the resources needed to escape.

– Staff Sergeant Chris Hayes, Human Trafficking

No Data Found

July 21, 2022

Two suspects have been charged with 17 new criminal offences relating to the human trafficking of a 16-year old. A third suspect, David Tom, has also been charged.

Read more
June 29, 2022

ALERT Human Trafficking and Counter Exploitation unit has obtained a Canada-wide warrant for a suspect who was allegedly involved in sex trafficking a 12-year-old girl.

Read more
February 22, 2023

A search warrant was executed and a man suspected of recruiting and exploiting multiple women is facing numerous charges, including human trafficking and sexual assault.

Read more

Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta | Training

Intelligence & Expertise

CISA was able to identify potential opportunities to formalize analytical support and services for the First Nation police services. We will continue to work towards ensuring authentic and appropriate intelligence services are provided to meet the unique needs of their communities.

– Insp. Paul Gregory, Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta

4,664

intelligence queries, packages & reports to support Operations & Investigations (2022-23)

Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA) supports our law enforcement partners by responding to background and information requests, in support of investigations. Information facilitators have access to approximately 36 databases and distribute intelligence across the province, western Canada and into the United States.
1,407

Detailed persons or locations background history packages to support investigations

1,666

Detailed persons queries and packages to support the Alberta Peace Officer/Security Services programs and/or Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis efforts

1,519

Bulletins / intelligence reports disseminated on behalf of CISA member agencies or other provincial intelligence bureaus

Play Video
0

Presentations on online safety conducted by ICE

Training

ALERT’s Training section debuted a recurring human trafficking seminar aimed at better helping front-line members recognize and report potential human trafficking instances. Training also helped institute a human trafficking presentation and brochure for Ukrainian refugees and support groups, which was prepared in two languages. An International Organization for Migration survey found that an estimated 46,000 displaced Ukrainians suffered from human trafficking during 2019-21.
0
Training Courses Offered
(2022-23)
0
Candidates Trained
(2022-23)

Disrupting & dismantling organized crime

Financial Crimes

Organized crime is financially motivated: proceeds of crime are the financial gains from illegal activities such as human trafficking, drug production/trafficking, firearm trafficking and other criminal activity. ALERT Financial Crimes Teams investigate money laundering while supporting the organized crime financial aspect of ALERT investigations. Their expertise follows the trail of organized crime nominees, proceeds of crime and money laundering that undermines Alberta’s economy and contribute to violence in our communities.
$ 0

Seized Proceeds of Crime (2022-23)

$ 0
Value of bank accounts, real estates holdings, and vehicles placed under criminal restraint

Project Collector took the cash of crime. And we just closed the accounts of some of Canada’s largest organized crime groups.

– Insp. Jason Bobrowich, ALERT Calgary

Civil Forfeiture

In October, ALERT welcomed a Civil Forfeiture Liaison Officer responsible for identifying and facilitating suitable referrals to the Alberta Civil Forfeiture Office in coordination with investigating officers. Forfeited cash, vehicles, and property can be used by the government to fund grants for community programs to support victims of crime and help prevent crime.

More than $10,000 encrypted on a USB device and seized from a Red Deer crack dealer was successfully forfeited to the province
Nearly $20,000 obtained through sex trafficking a 16-year-old Edmonton-area victim is pending a civil forfeiture application
In one of Lethbridge’s largest drug busts, over $60,000 in bank notes was seized and has been submitted to civil forfeiture office for review​

AUTO CRIMES | REGIONAL PROPERTY CRIMES

ORGANIZED PROPERTY CRIMES

ALERT combats organized property theft through two units, our Auto Crimes team and Regional Property Crimes team. Whether vehicle theft, metal theft, equipment theft, or break and enter, many cases are tied to organized crime, drug trafficking and/or involve firearms. ALERT works continuously with our partner agencies to stop these offences, return stolen property to their rightful owners, and keep Albertans safe.

0

Stolen vehicles recovered (2022-23)

$ 0

Estimated value of recovered assets (2022-23)

December 15, 2022

Several stolen vehicles have been recovered and one man is facing charges following an ALERT investigation in southern Alberta. ALERT Medicine Hat’s regional property crime unit began their investigation into a rash of regional vehicle thefts in early December.

Read more
January 26, 2023

Various firearms and weapons have been seized from a home in Cypress County following an investigation into stolen property by ALERT Medicine Hat’s regional property crime unit. In December 2022, ALERT began investigating a report of a stolen recreational vehicle and trailer. The theft occurred in the Redcliff area.

Read more
March 10, 2023

A prolific break and enter suspect is facing charges following a string of break-ins in southeast Alberta. ALERT Medicine Hat’s began investigating the break-ins in November 2022 after receiving numerous reports from local businesses.

Read more

Corporate Statistical & FinanciaL

Summary

Revenue Sources

No Data Found

Positions

Alberta Government grants provide funding for the majority of ALERT positions. Sworn members from our municipal/regional partner agencies and RCMP form the majority of investigative teams, complemented by civilian support staff in crucial roles to fulfill our operational mandates and administration.

0

Partner Contributed

0

ALERT-funded

0

Total Positions

Positions by agency

Statistical Summary

Expand this view to explore condensed data tables that encompass the contents of this annual report.