Cocaine, Handgun Seized in Lethbridge Bust

Lethbridge… A handgun was seized alongside nearly half a kilogram of cocaine as the result of an ALERT investigation in Lethbridge.

ALERT’s Lethbridge organized crime and gang team made the seizure on March 27, 2018, after searching a vehicle and an apartment suite. The Lethbridge Police Service provided assistance with the search.

ALERT alleges the apartment, located on Berkeley Place West, was being used to convert cocaine into crack. A total of 474 grams of cocaine and 198 grams of a cocaine buffing agent were seized, along with drug trafficking paraphernalia. The drugs have an estimated street value of $47,000.

A .32-caliber handgun and ammunition were also seized.

“The presence of the firearm within the residence exhibits the lengths criminals will go to protect their drugs from other criminals by using violence or the threat of violence.  These weapons also present an increased risk to the public and law enforcement investigating these crimes,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Walper, ALERT Lethbridge.

Justin Reid was arrested while attempting to leave the apartment. The 27-year-old Lethbridge man is charged with numerous drug and firearms offences:

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking;
  • Possession of a controlled substance;
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm;
  • Possession of a firearm knowing possession was unauthorized;
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm with readily accessible ammunition; and
  • Possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000.

Following Reid’s arrest, two other associates were identified and arrested. Arthur Cranston, 58, and Guy Cranston, 56, both of Medicine Hat, were jointly charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

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. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.


Notice to Media: High-resolution photos of goods seized are available for download: Photo 1 | Photo 2