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Calgary…More than 15 kilograms of Phenacetin or “Superbuff” was seized from a Airdrie home by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), in addition to more than $100,000 worth of cocaine. The seizure further highlights the dangers for drug users and the unknown chemical substances added to drugs.
ALERT’s Calgary Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) executed seven search warrants with the assistance of Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Airdrie RCMP members on December 4th. Two people were arrested and a province-wide warrant was just issued for a 29-year-old Airdire man.
The two-month investigation began after CFSEU received information that the accused were distributing cocaine to dial-a-dope drug traffickers. The inventory of items seized from the search warrants supported that theory with investigators finding digital scales, empty kilogram cocaine wrappers, and more than 15 kilograms of Phenacetin, worth nearly $40,000.
“For the recreational drug user this should be a wake-up call as the idea of pure cocaine is a myth. You may have just wanted to get high, but as we saw last year with some tainted ecstasy, you may wind up dead,” said Sgt. Glenn Uchytil, a CPS member seconded to ALERT.
Phenacetin is a common cutting agent dealers use to dilute the purity of cocaine in order to maximize profits. Phenacetin is a pain killer that was withdrawn from the Canadian market in 1973 after it was associated with cancer and kidney damage.
Ryan Venn, a 29-year-old Airdire man, is wanted on an Alberta-wide warrant for three charges of breaching recognizance. Jordan Schwebius, a 30-year-old Airdrie man, faces nine drug-related charges, and his associate Sidney Nayel, a 52-year-old Calgary man, faces four charges of breach of recognizance. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Venn is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
CFSEU-Calgary is an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Nearly 400 municipal police, RCMP, and sheriffs work for ALERT.