Prison Jail Mail Laced with Meth

Medicine Hat… A collaborative investigation between ALERT and the Medicine Hat Remand Centre has identified two people suspected of sending methamphetamine-laced Christmas cards to inmates.

Back in December 2015 four Christmas cards delivered to the Medicine Hat Remand Centre (MHRC) were intercepted by MHRC staff before reaching any inmates and tested positive for meth. The cards were addressed to an inmate at the institution. On December 9, the case was forwarded to ALERT’s Medicine Hat organized crime team for follow-up investigation.

Through lab and DNA analysis, ALERT was able to identify suspects linked to the cards. On April 25, 2016 Ryan Horb, a 32-year-old from Medicine Hat, was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

On April 26, 2016 a warrant was issued for Justin Yaholnitsky, 25, for trafficking methamphetamine. Yaholnitsky is currently serving time in a Saskatchewan prison for an unrelated matter.

ALERT believes that the cards were soaked with a form of liquid meth intended for extraction by the inmates.

“A great deal of sophistication was employed in a case like this, and I have to credit the investigative team for their tenacity in pursuing these drug dealers,” said S/Sgt. Jason Graham.

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