Local briefs – May 15

Ponoka RCMP are investigating an armed robbery at the Ponoka Fas Gas convenience store on at about 6:40 a.m. Friday.

Armed robbery in Ponoka

Ponoka RCMP are investigating an armed robbery at the Ponoka Fas Gas convenience store on at about 6:40 a.m. Friday.

Two males entered the store with T-shirts covering their faces, according to an RCMP news release

The first male produced a knife and approached an employee demanding cigarettes and cash, while the second male stood at the door.

The duo then fled the store on foot, making off with a small quantity of tobacco products.

RCMP are currently trying to identify the men. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or Ponoka RCMP at 403-783-4472.


RV break-ins plague region

Recreational vehicles break-ins are an on-going problem around Central Alberta.

But police say it’s not the RVs sitting in front of owners’ homes that are the main target for thieves — it’s the RVs in locked storage yards.

The motive seems to be stealing any electronics that might be inside, such as plasma TVs and DVD players, said Staff Sgt. Gord Glasgow, of Red Deer Rural RCMP.

Probably the best prevention method is removing valuables from RVs while they are in storage, but Glasgow realizes this is difficult when the electronics are built-in.

Glasgow said it’s probably safer keeping RVs in your own backyard than a remote storage yard.

When this isn’t possible, he recommends checking out that the storage site is secure, with bright lighting, or good-quality surveillance cameras.

“But again, a lot of very reputable, diligent storage yards have been broken into,” since thieves can cut through fences, he added.

Glasgow wasn’t sure if extra locks would help secure RVs, saying “It gets to be a real challenge” — especially when owners discover the damage done to their RVs during break-ins exceeds the value of the goods that were stolen.

Fortunately, police do catch some of the offenders, he said.


Woman facing drug charge

A Red Deer woman is facing drug charges for the second time in less than three months after the Red Deer city RCMP street team conducted a search warrant on the same home she was found at.

Red Deer RCMP released news on Friday about a search warrant conducted on an Eastview area home in the 3800 block of 47th Street on May 6.

Quantities of methamphetamine, a powerful stimulant that speeds up the body’s central nervous system, were found.

A 26-year-old man was arrested and released.

The woman, Melony Johnson, 28, was released on bail and is set to appear in Red Deer provincial court on May 27 on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of breach of release conditions.

The street team searched the same house on Feb. 25 where quantities of drug trafficking paraphernalia, cash and meth were seized.

Johnson was charged with one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking in that case.


Warrant issued in print heist

A court-ordered warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man accused of having stolen Michael Godard prints in his possession.

David Joseph Ellison, 31, was supposed to appear in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday on one charge of possession of stolen property.

Two prints, The Heist and Busted, went missing from the Editions Art Gallery at Bower Place Shopping Centre in Red Deer in February.

Las Vegas-based artist Godard is known as “the rock star of the art world.”

His Busted piece shows characters in the shape of olives, surrounded by a police car and officers, as a helicopter shines a light down onto the scene.

The Heist also depicts a handful of olives, some drinking a martini or smoking a cigar while the rest are loading bags of loot off an armoured truck.

The two prints were discovered after police executed a search warrant on a Fairway Avenue residence.


Preliminary hearing set in massive drug bust

Three Red Deer men will head to a preliminary hearing next March in connection with a drug bust that police allege supplied several criminal organizations and Alberta street gangs with large quantities of cocaine.

Brent Mark Cyr, 22, Matthew Earles, 23, and Cameron O’Connell, 21, will be in Calgary for a preliminary hearing on March 7.

They have each been charged with possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking and production of controlled substance, turning powder cocaine into crack cocaine.

The three are among nine men charged on Oct. 20 following a lengthy police investigation, which Alberta government officials said was a major blow to organized crime units.

Police said the sting took $1.5 million worth of cocaine off the streets and they further allege the drug network spread across Canada and supplied drugs to various regions of the country.

Police searched residences in Red Deer, Calgary and Lethbridge, seizing 11 kg of cocaine.

Also charged is Nicholas Soto, 28, who is formerly of Red Deer before he moved to Calgary.

He will speak to 14 charges related to drugs and possession of weapons on June 14 in a Calgary courtroom.


Red Deer men charged with drug possession

Red Deer City RCMP have charged two Red Deer men with drug possession stemming from a traffic stop on May 10.

Police stopped a suspicious vehicle and a 32-year-old man faces a charge of with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

He is scheduled to appear in Red Deer provincial court on July 15.

As a result of the traffic stop, a 30-year-old male also faces a charge of possession of marijuana and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) after police searched a residence on Vold Close.

He is set to appear in court on July 8.

Names have not been released at this time because the information hasn’t been sworn yet against them.

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