Medicine Hat Meth Market Takes a Hit; 12 Dealers Charged
Posted: June 24, 2015
Medicine Hat… Twelve suspected methamphetamine dealers in Medicine Hat have been charged following a targeted investigation between Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and Medicine Hat Police Service.
ALERT Medicine Hat initiated the investigation in response to community concerns over street-level drug sales of meth and its link to several files where violence and irrational behavior have occurred. In order to disrupt the local meth trade, 12 suspected dealers were arrested and two homes were searched.
The following suspects were arrested on June 23 and charged with drug trafficking-related offences:
- Michael Poitras, 49, trafficking in a controlled substance x 4, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and breach of recognizance x 6;
- Shawna Taranko, 30, trafficking in a controlled substance x 3, possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of methamphetamine, and proceeds of crime;
- Chad Ogema, 22, trafficking in a controlled substance x 2;
- David Marthaller, 37, trafficking in a controlled substance x 2;
- David Lehner, 35, trafficking in a controlled substance x 4;
- Kyle Duchcherer, 21, trafficking in a controlled substance x 2;
- Matthew Perini, 25, trafficking in a controlled substance x 4, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of methamphetamine;
- Ezra Cox, 37, possession of methamphetamine;
- Amber Baxter, 28, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and breach of recognizance x 2;
- Lisa Mook, 40, trafficking in a controlled substance, and breach of Recognizance x 2;
- Daniel Sparks, 39, possession for the purpose of trafficking x 2,, possession of proceeds of crime;
- Wayne Shrubsall, 42, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession of cannabis marihuana, breach of recognizance x3.
Methamphetamine can be manufactured in clandestine laboratories using over-the-counter medications and toxic chemicals, but most of the meth found in Alberta is believed to have been imported by organized crime from “superlabs” operating in the United States and Mexico. Last year, ALERT teams seized nearly 8 kilograms of meth from across the province.
On the same day of the arrests, a search warrant was executed at a Medicine Hat home in the unit-block of 7 Street SW. ALERT seized 27 grams of methamphetamine and secured evidence consistent with drug trafficking. An earlier search warrant, executed on June 12 at a home on Sage Road, yielded 23 grams of meth and 14 grams of cocaine. The street value of the drugs seized from both searches is an estimated $18,000.
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.