Cocaine worth $66,000, three guns and $60,330 in cash have been seized by Red Deer’s organized crime and gang team.
Police said officers executed two search warrants at homes in the Pines and Vanier Woods neighbourhoods on Dec. 13 and found 662 grams of cocaine, as well as a Ruger handgun, an SKS rifle and a shotgun and ammunition.
Two vehicles allegedly used to transport and sell drugs, scales, score sheets and packaging materials were also seized.
A total of seven people from Red Deer, ranging in age from 20 to 24, face a total of 51 charges related to drugs and firearms offences.
Insp. Sean Boser, in charge of the regional Alberta Law Enforcement Response teams, or ALERT, said it was a short-term investigation that yielded big results.
“I’m very satisfied with the work of our team to get these drugs off the street, but more importantly, take firearms out of the hands of alleged drug dealers.
“There is a close connection between drugs and violence, and when that unfolds, the public is put at risk. We’re all impacted and no community is immune,” Boser said at a press conference on Thursday at Red Deer RCMP’s downtown detachment.
He said ALERT members usually anticipate they will find firearms during their investigations, and the firearms found in Red Deer are unfortunately not uncommon.
“That’s just how things have evolved over the years.”
He said it’s extremely important for ALERT to investigate drug suppliers who are higher up in the drug chain. While this was not the largest cocaine seizure for Red Deer, he added, it’s a substantial bust for the community.
Stephen Jones, 23, who was the primary focus of ALERT’s investigation, was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime and nine firearms offences.
Other men charged include Colby Ingimarson, 22; Vincent Tyrell Williams, 24; Gavin Forslund, 24; and Josh Martens, 22.
Two women were also charged: Mackenzie Ingimarson, 20, and Shaydin Proulx, 21.