Record Hashish Seizure by ALERT

Edmonton… The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) has made the largest hashish seizure in Alberta. Thirty kilograms of hashish, valued at $600,000, was seized in Edmonton.

ALERT Edmonton, an integrated team made up of the Edmonton Police Service, RCMP, and Alberta Sheriffs, made the seizure on October 1st. The hashish, packaged and pressed in 30 one-kilogram bricks, was located in a west Edmonton storage locker. ALERT also seized six pounds of marihuana and $5,000 cash.

The investigation was initiated thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip from the public. Members of the public can report suspected drug or gang activity anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Craig Bendt Matthiessen, a 49-year-old Edmonton man, was at the location of the storage locker. He has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (x 2), possession of a controlled substance, and possession of proceeds of crime.

Hashish is a form of marihuana produced by collecting and compressing the plant. The Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the main sources of hashish. ALERT has experienced an increase in hashish seizures, which is mainly attributable the proliferation of e-cigarettes.

Since ALERT was formed in 2006, teams from across the province have taken upwards of $550 million worth of drugs off the street. In the past five months ALERT has achieved several Alberta-record seizures including:

  •  heroin – 14 kilograms, valued at $5.6 million (Jun. 4, 2014);
  •  marihuana – 292 kilograms, valued at $2.9 million (Jun. 4, 2014);
  •  steroids – 365,268 tablets, 10,583 vials, 1,374 powder, valued at $9.3 million (Sep. 25, 2014);
  •   hashish – 30 kilograms valued at $600,000 (Oct. 1, 2014).