The recent arrest at an alleged drug house in Grandview leaves Red Deer with several other “problem residences” that are still of concern to neighbours and police.
“We are aware of three others in the community,” said Const. François Nadeau, of Red Deer RCMP on Wednesday. He could not disclose which neighbourhoods, saying it could compromise the investigations.
Red Deer RCMP and the Alberta Sheriffs’ Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit have been teaming up to tackle nuisance properties.
Nadeau urges Red Deerians to keep watching for unusual activities as there could be other drug houses that are still unknown to police.
Several neighbours along 45 St. in old Eastview, who were interviewed by the Advocate last week after a fatal shooting happened on their block, expressed concern over a certain house that has often drawn police.
Nadeau understands people want these problems dealt with quickly. But he said drug house situations are complex and can’t be solved overnight — a co-ordinated investigative effort is needed – especially if the homeowner isn’t the one directly involved with the crimes.
Police and SCAN have to deal with several levels of regulatory codes — criminal, provincial and even landlord and tenant rules, in some cases, he added.
However, an effective tool is available: SCAN can apply for a community order from Court of Queen’s Bench to keep a problem occupant from returning to a house for a period — or even to completely shut the house down, and fence it off for 90 days, said Insp. Mike Letourneau, who works for Alberta Justice out of SCAN’s Calgary office.
He added this stops the problem of having an arrested person who is released into the community return to the house to continue illicit activities.
An integrated team of RCMP and SCAN members recently shut down an alleged drug house in Grandview after a community order was obtained on Feb. 26, based on the outcome of the search warrant and evidence from a police investigation.
The order bars the occupant from accessing the property for five years that was previously the scene of an arrest.
In January, the RCMP’s Crime Reduction Team searched this Grandview property and found modified guns, ammunition and drugs in the home.
Adam Bogusky, 36, of Red Deer faces 14 charges, including weapons trafficking, possession of a firearm, and possession of a controlled substance. He is to appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on April 1.
A SCAN investigation is always spurred by complaints from neighbouring residents, said Letourneau. Undercover members of SCAN surveillance team will be deployed to watch “the comings and goings” of people to the suspect drug house.
And this evidence is turned over to the RCMP if a criminal investigation is warranted, Letourneau added. The SCAN compaint number is 1-866-960-SCAN.
The RCMP can also become aware of problem homes through Project Pinpoint, which uses crime analysis data and tracks the release of known criminals in the community, said Nadeau.
He encourages concerned residents to be patient, stay vigilant, and keep reporting suspicious activity, which can help build up a police investigation, to 403-343-5575, (or online reporting at reddeer.ca/RCMP).
Signs of unusual activity to watch for include people arriving at a house at all hours, not staying very long, or picking things up and then leaving, added Nadeau. There could also be frequent disturbances, or strange odours from the home.
Knowing your neighbours — both property owners and tenants on your street — is a huge help in deterring criminal activity, said Nadeau, who encourages sharing information about unusual activities, property crimes and thefts.
As well, he encourages the installation of good outdoor lighting, and landscaping that doesn’t obscure sight lines.
Residents with surveillance cameras on their properties can register them with police, so if a crime occurs in the area this video footage can be used in the investigation.