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Edmonton… A cocaine trafficking network operating out of Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Fort McMurray has been dismantled following a lengthy ALERT investigation.
Project Fortune resulted in the seizure of more than $1 million worth of cocaine and cash, as well as 49 criminal charges being laid against seven suspects. The investigation unfolded over 16 months and concluded with arrests on July 26, 2018.
Project Fortune targeted wholesale cocaine trafficking in northern Alberta communities. ALERT conducted search warrants at three homes in north Edmonton and two residences in Fort McMurray. A total of eight kilograms of cocaine was seized, along with $215,000 cash proceeds of crime.
One of the Edmonton homes, located in the Eaux Claires neighbourhood, is believed to have been used to package and press cocaine for street-level sales.
The investigation was launched in March 2017 as the result of intelligence sharing between Strathcona Country RCMP and ALERT. Information was provided that the since-closed Barbero Barbershop in Sherwood Park was involved in cocaine trafficking.
When that information was received, ALERT launched a comprehensive investigation. A number of specialized police techniques and resources were deployed to infiltrate and ultimately dismantle the group.
ALERT alleges the cocaine trafficking network operated under the direction of Ali Ameen Elamki, 27, and Mohamed Rachid Torbeih, 33. The two Edmonton men face a number of criminal charges, including conspiracy to traffic cocaine and committing an indictable offence for the benefit of a criminal organization. Torbeih is also charged with instructing a person to commit an indictable offence for the benefit of a criminal organization.
A total of 49 charges have been laid. The five other people arrested filled various roles within the alleged criminal network:
ALERT’s Fort McMurray organized crime and gang team spearheaded the investigation, but a number of partner agencies provided assistance, including: Wood Buffalo RCMP; Strathcona County RCMP; the Edmonton Police Service; ALERT Edmonton; and St. Albert RCMP.
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.