Fentanyl Seized in ALERT Edmonton Bust

Fentanyl Seized in ALERT Edmonton Bust

Edmonton… Nearly 2,000 fentanyl pills were amongst the half million dollars’ worth of drugs seized by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) in a recent Edmonton bust.

ALERT Edmonton, an integrated team consisting of Edmonton Police Service and RCMP members, arrested five people who were allegedly responsible for transporting drugs interprovincially using vehicles outfitted with customized hidden compartments. Three SUVs with hidden compartments were seized.

The drugs seized included fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. Search warrants were executed at four Edmonton homes and a rural Redwater, Alta. residence on February 3 and March 18.

The estimated street value of the drugs seized is $545,000, and includes:

  • 2.6 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 1,841 fentanyl pills;
  • 1 kilogram of methamphetamine;
  • 468 grams of MDMA;
  • Two firearms;
  • $91,000 in cash proceeds of crime.

The fentanyl was manufactured to resemble oxycontin. The value of the fentanyl alone is pegged at $147,280 and this seizure marks the first time ALERT has seized the deadly drug in Edmonton.

Five people were arrested and are facing at least 30 drug-related criminal charges:

  • Oran Grant Soanes, 26, arrested on February 3;
  • Mitchell Fortin, 25, arrested on February 3;
  • Cleveland Black, 19, arrested on March 18;
  • Adrian Cambiazo, 20, arrested on March 18;
  • Natasha Ponzey, 19, arrested on March 18.

ALERT’s investigation into the accused’s drug activity began in December 2014.

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 Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Regional Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.