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Drugs, Gun, $34K Cash Recovered in Dial-A-Dope Bust

Grande Prairie… Four people have been arrested as an ALERT investigation into a suspected dial-a-dope operation in Grande Prairie recovered drugs, a stolen firearm and more than $34,000 cash.

On January 22, 2018, ALERT’s Grande Prairie organized crime and gang team, with the assistance of Grande Prairie RCMP, searched a city home and arrested four people.

“A successful ‘wrap-around’ crime reduction approach depends on successful partnerships. This is another example of a successful partnership between ALERT and local RCMP that removed a firearm and dangerous substances from our streets,” says RCMP Cpl. Chris Warren. “We will continue to target these criminal activities in efforts to reduce crime in our neighbourhoods.”

Drugs and other items were seized from the home, including:

  • 85 grams of cocaine;
  • 11.5 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 65 millilitres of Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB);
  • one gram of psilocybin mushrooms;
  • brass knuckles;
  • a Ruger .22-250 calibre rifle; and
  • more than $34,000 cash proceeds of crime.

A police check revealed that the rifle had been reported stolen after a break-and-enter in DeBolt, Alta., about 60 kilometres east of Grande Prairie, in January 2017.

Kenneth Erskine, 38, is charged with trafficking a controlled substance (x3) and possession of proceeds of crime. Erskine is also wanted for related offences on Vancouver Island.

Matthew Roberti, 27, is charged with trafficking a controlled substance (x4), possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (x2), possession of a controlled substance (x2), possession of proceeds of crime (x2) and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Tara Cartwright, 44, and Alexander Kalashnikoff, 31, are both charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (x2), possession of proceeds of crime (x5) and possession of a stolen firearm.

Erskine, Cartwright and Kalashnikoff are scheduled to appear in court on February 22. Roberti will appear in court on January 29.

This investigation began in late December 2017 after ALERT received information about drug trafficking activity in Grande Prairie.

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

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Notice to media: A high-resolution photo of goods seized is available for download: Photo 1

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Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

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Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page