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Eleven people charged after drug trafficking ring busted in Lethbridge

Eleven people charged after drug trafficking ring busted in Lethbridge

Eleven people charged after drug trafficking ring busted in Lethbridge

May 2, 2012

Lethbridge…Eleven people face numerous charges after police busted a drug trafficking ring in Lethbridge following a 10-month investigation.

The Lethbridge Regional Police Service and ALERT’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-Lethbridge) worked together on this investigation, with assistance from the Lethbridge Regional Police Service Patrols Operation Section. Launched April 1, CFSEU-Lethbridge is an integrated team of RCMP and Lethbridge Regional Police Service members.

On April 27, police executed a search warrant at a home along the 1800 block of 1st Avenue North. Police recovered just over $2,500 in cash, replica Airsoft guns, 10 cell phones, a small quantity of cannabis, and narcotics including Ativan and Hydromorph Contin, as well as drug packaging and other drug paraphernalia.

Three females and two males were located inside the home and arrested without incident. A short time later, police conducted a targeted traffic stop along Highway 3 inside the city limits and arrested two males and a female. A 14-year-old female and one of the males arrested at the home were subsequently released without charges.

“The results of this investigation show the value of forging partnerships within the law enforcement community,” said Staff Sergeant Wes Houston, officer in charge of CFSEU-Lethbridge. “We will continue to build safer communities by working together to target drug trafficking and other organized crime.”

“This group was moving between rental properties often, trying to avoid detection and impacting several neighbourhoods in our community,” continued Staff Sergeant Houston. “We would like to remind landlords to conduct thorough background checks on prospective tenants and to always have a solid tenancy agreement in place.”

The following people have been arrested and charged:

  • Kerri Rae Stewart, 38, of Lethbridge, is charged with 15 counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime. She is remanded to appear in court May 3.
  • Jason Thomas Wilson, 36, of Lethbridge, is charged with three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime. He is remanded to appear in court May 3.
  • Joseph North Peigan, 21, of Lethbridge, is charged with one count of trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of breach of a recognizance. He was released on cash bail to appear in court May 25.
  • Georgina Archibald, 47, of Lethbridge, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. She was released on a recognizance to appear in court May 18.
  • Mike Brown, 21, of Lethbridge, is charged with one count of breach of a recognizance. Brown was released from custody on a recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court May 18.
  • Shawnee Rae Stewart, 19, of Lethbridge is charged with one count of aiding and abetting and breach of a recognizance. She was released from custody to appear in court May 25.
  • A 16-year-old male of Lethbridge is charged with one count of trafficking a controlled substance and was released from custody to appear in court May 9.

Four other men have been charged in connection with this drug distribution ring and warrants have been issued for their arrest:

  • Ben Mitchell, 21, of Lethbridge, is charged with five counts of trafficking a controlled substance.
  • Said Said, 23, of Toronto, is charged with five counts of trafficking a controlled substance.
  • Afrah Ali, 23, of Grande Prairie, is charged with three counts of trafficking a controlled substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and one count of breach of a recognizance.
  • Christopher Degeorgio, 19, of Lethbridge, is charged with four counts of trafficking a controlled substance.

The investigation into this matter is ongoing. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of these men is asked to contact police at 403-328-4444 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Staff Sergeant Wes Houston
CFSEU-Lethbridge
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
403-330-5061

Jill Baird
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3028

Since 2022, CISA has been guided by four pillars that focus the effort to promote an integrated, intelligence-led approach to combating organized crime; these are:

  • Building Relationships with Stakeholders;
  • Promote Intel Sharing Across the Province;
  • Being Proactive and Identify Emerging Trends; and
  • Investing in Our People Through Training and Development

Protecting Kids Online | Internet Child Exploitation

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FILE INTAKES

680

872

1,149

1,114

3,815

2,994

2,764

SUSPECTS CHARGED

22

16

34

37

109

81

125

CHARGES LAID

87

45

123

160

415

351

413

CHILDREN RESCUED

26

78

56

43

203

46

100

EXHIBITS SEIZED

335

368

545

476

1,724

1,243

1,845

TOTAL PHOTOS/VIDEOS

262,400

511,133

1,374,310

606,254

2,754,097

2,551,921

13,260,819

Stopping Human Trafficking | HUMAN TRAFFICKING & COUNTER EXPLOITATION

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

13

10

7

4

34

30

76

CHARGES LAID

79

46

87

19

231

96

157

VICTIM INTERVENTIONS

30

29

17

37

113

28

22

Intelligence & Expertise | CISA / Training

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

409

296

327

442

1,474

1,560

1,318

TRAINING COURSES

5

3

8

11

27

36

25

CANDIDATES TRAINED

321

56

135

350

862

933

638

Disrupt & Dismantle Organized Crime | Combined Special Forces Enforcement

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

40

27

42

32

141

197

168

CHARGES LAID

176

156

237

231

800

1,088

820

FIREARMS SEIZED

105

53

26

48

232

102

126

EST. VALUE OF DRUGS SEIZED

$906,814

$553,851

$2,725,161

$1,148,337

$5,334,163

$10,898,269

$334,093,020

PROCEEDS OF CRIME SEIZED

$218,133

$52,970

$130,996

$230,195

$632,294

$1,432,847

$21,740,617

ANNUAL Regional ResultS

ARRESTS

CHARGES

FIREARMS

DRUGS

PROCEEDS

CALGARY

24

110

14

$937,422

$65,881

EDMONTON

17

131

45

$592,839

$272,446

FORT MCMURRAY

8

78

4

$352,942

$144,301

GRANDE PRAIRIE

7

17

13

$192,145

$31,855

LETHBRIDGE

7

29

44

$349,773

$51,245

LLOYDMINSTER

24

93

41

$164,134

$12,504

MEDICINE HAT

37

179

13

$293,108

$7,861

RED DEER

17

163

58

$2,451,800

$46,201

TOTALS

141

800

232

$5,334,163

$632,294

Organized Property Crimes | Auto Crimes

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

1

1

2

1

10

CHARGES LAID

11

47

STOLEN VEHICLES

23

15

1

6

45

245

118

RECOVERED ASSETS

$1,432,000

$941,025

$108,000

$260,000

$2,741025

$8,420,500

$3,919,500

Firearms investigations | Firearms lab & Gang suPpression teams

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FIREARMS EXAMINATIONS

349

351

243

235

1,178

EXHIBIT EXAMINATIONS

1,316

1,409

891

1,099

4,715

SERIAL NUMBER RESTORATIONS

31

34

19

24

108

IBIS SUBMISSIONS

343

421

1,334

304

2,402

GUN SEIZURES

1

14

15

SUSPECTS CHARGED

4

22

26

CHARGES LAID

41

144

185

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (Cybertip.ca).

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

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

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