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Red Deer drug house shut down


Inglewood residents are breathing a sigh of relief after police shut down a drug house that caused neighbours to feel unsafe in their own homes.

Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) closed the house at 51 Ibbotson Close in Red Deer on Tuesday, after two investigations and numerous complaints over four years.

“There has been constant criminal activity, drug use, drug abuse, drug trafficking,” said Billy Kerr, manager of SCAN South, a division of Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.

“There were numerous people coming from the address from all times of the day and night bringing undesirable people into the community.”

SCAN was granted a one-year Community Safety Order on Nov. 16 to board up the house and install a fence around the property and evict all tenants for 90 days.

The owner, who is known to police, does not face any charges related to the order. He will be allowed back into the house in March. Police did not name him.

“Hopefully when he returns in March his activities will stop and the residents can live here without fear,” said Kerr. Police will continue to monitor the community.

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhood Act, enacted in 2007, allows residents to report suspicious behaviour anonymously.

Elisa Covert, a mother of two young children, has watched the constant comings and goings of “sketchy” looking people for the five years she has lived in the neighourbood. “Finally something is getting done,” said Covert. “There’s been a lot of suspicious activity. I don’t even feel safe having (my two children) ride their bikes around this close. In the summer time that’s where they want to be.”

Jayme McKay, who also has two children under the age of five, lives directly across from the house. Her husband works out of town and she was frightened for her family’s safety.

McKay said she is relieved the only action she will see outside her window will be children playing.

“There was a lot of traffic.” said McKay. “Police have been monitoring our close ever since the (2009) murder. There’s tons of police.”

Brandon Neil Prevey, 29, was murdered while sitting in a parked vehicle near the entrance of the close in April 2009. Christopher Martin Fleig, 28, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murder of Prevey in May 2012.

McKay said the close is filled with children who played in the backyards because of the shady activity at 51 Ibbotson. She hopes this summer children will be free to play throughout the close.

Other residents, however, who did not want their names used, were a little worried about what happens when the owner returns in March. They fear retaliation against the neighbours who complained.

This was the second drug house closed down in Red Deer since 2007. SCAN is currently investigating five other houses in Red Deer.

SCAN is a team funded by the provincial government to tackle serious and organized crime.

Albertans who suspect a property in their neighbourhood is being used for illegal activity should contact SCAN toll-free at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226) or online at www.scan.alberta.ca. All complaints are confidential. Residents are reminded never to investigate suspected problem properties on their own.

crhyno@reddeeradvocate.com



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