Million-Dollar Cocaine Seizure Made in Edmonton
Posted: July 18, 2019
Edmonton… Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine has been seized after ALERT conducted search warrants at two Edmonton homes. ALERT seized over 11 kilograms of cocaine and 84 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent.
ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime team made the seizure on June 8, 2019, and one person was arrested. The Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs provided assistance.
ALERT alleges that an apartment in the Pembina neighbourhood was being used to package and press cocaine. That is where investigators located 84 kilograms of the cocaine buffing agent Phenacetin – one of the largest seizures of its kind by ALERT.
Phenacetin is a cutting agent used to dilute the purity of cocaine in order to maximize profits. It was banned in Canada in 1973 due to its carcinogenic and kidney-damaging properties.
The total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $1.4 million and includes:
- 11.37 kilograms of cocaine;
- 84 kilograms of Phenacetin;
- 902 grams of ketamine; and
- $15,465 cash.
A 26-year-old Edmonton man was arrested. Mihnea Vasiu has been charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.
Vasiu became known to ALERT after he was observed meeting with targets in previous investigations.
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.