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Twenty-one people charged in Lethbridge drug trafficking investigation

Twenty-one people charged in Lethbridge drug trafficking investigation

August 8, 2013

 

 Lethbridge…ALERT’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-Lethbridge) wrapped up a nine-month drug trafficking investigation with charges against 21 people believed to be dealing cocaine and marihuana within the city of Lethbridge.

CFSEU-Lethbridge is an integrated team of Lethbridge Regional Police Service (LRPS) members and RCMP who work together to address organized crime in the community. CFSEU-Lethbridge began an investigation in November 2012 into a group that was allegedly transporting drugs from Calgary to Lethbridge.

Five search warrants were executed between January and July 2013, resulting in 84 charges laid against 21 people. In total, police seized nearly 1.8 kilograms of cocaine, 587 grams of marihuana, $17,225 cash, three firearms, including a stolen, sawed-off, 12-gauge shotgun, body armour, a number of cell phones, and an assortment of drug trafficking paraphernalia. Combined, the seized drugs have an estimated potential street value of nearly $180,000.

Charged are:

  • Jade LITTLE, 23-year-old female Lethbridge resident, with six countsof trafficking a controlled substance. Little was arrested and remanded in custody until her next court appearance on August 15.
  • Awet ABRAHA, 25-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with three counts of trafficking a controlled substance and three counts of breaching conditions of his recognizance. Abraha was released on bail until his next court appearance on October 3.
  • Lindsey ITO, 36-year-old female Lethbridge resident, with one count of trafficking a controlled substance. Ito remains at large. A warrant for arrest has been obtained.
  • Grace MERCIER,  27-year-old female Lethbridge resident, with three counts of trafficking a controlled substance and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Mercier remains at large. A warrant for arrest has been obtained.
  • Chol DENG, 22-year-old male Calgary resident, with one count of trafficking a controlled substance and one count of breaching conditions of his recognizance. Deng remains at large. A warrant for arrest has been obtained.
  • Jordan MACLEAN, 23-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, one count of possession of proceeds of crime, and one count of possession of ammunition when prohibited. Maclean’s next court appearance is August 8.
  • Curtis BENSON, 26-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with three counts of possession of a controlled substance. Benson’s next court appearance is August 8.
  • Levi Duncan REITER, 23-year-old male of Iron Springs, with resisting a peace officer. Reiter is remanded into custody and his next court appearance is August 9.
  • Derek Scott DUCKWORTH, 20-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with possession of a controlled substance. Duckworth’s next court appearance is August 8.
  • Shane David POOLE, 23-year-old male Lethbridge resident is charged with possession of a controlled substance. Poole has pled guilty and received a $300 fine.
  • Tyler Joseph PODD, 25-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with possession of a controlled substance. Podd has pled guilty and received a $300 fine.
  • Brady James GALTS, 23-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with possession of a firearm obtained through the commission of an offence, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited device, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless storage of a firearm, and careless use of a firearm. Galts’ next court appearance is August 23.
  • Cody Fern SKINNER, 26-year-old male Lethbridge resident, with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of marihuana, possession of proceeds of crime, failure to comply with a recognizance, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, and possession of a prohibited weapon. Skinner’s next court appearance is August 8.

Eight other people were arrested in related ALERT investigations that were previously made public on February 7, March 5, and March 14, 2013.

“This investigation has now secured charges against 21 people for trafficking drugs in our community,” commented Staff Sergeant Wes Houston of CFSEU-Lethbridge. “We are very pleased with these results, but we know that there are others waiting to move in and take over. Our work does not end here.”

ALERT was established 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.

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 Media inquiries may be directed to:
Staff Sergeant Wes Houston
CFSEU-Lethbridge
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
403-330-5061

Candace Cook
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3015

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