Red Deer boxer faces drug charges

A Red Deer boxing champon faces several drug-related charges following an investigation by police.

A Red Deer boxing champon faces several drug-related charges following an investigation by police.

Cameron O’Connell, 20, an internationally recognized amateur boxing champion, was charged following an investigation that Alberta government officials are calling a major blow to organized crime in the province.

A lightweight class fighter now, O’Connell has trained and worked out with the Red Deer Boxing Club club since returning from Calgary where he lived for a time while attending Mount Royal College.

O’Connell is an eight-time Alberta provincial champion and 2007 Ringside World Champion and a national champion in 2005.

He recently fought the Canadian lightweight champion for a chance to represent Canada at international competitions but lost a 7-3 decision.

O’Connell was one of nine people, including two other Red Deer men, charged in the bust, which police say took $1.5 million worth of cocaine off the street.

O’Connell is charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and converting powder cocaine into crack cocaine.

He will appear in Calgary provincial court on Nov. 16 to possibly enter a plea and make an election of how he wants to be tried.

Matthew Earles, 23, and Brent Cyr, 21, are also from Red Deer and each face two drug-related charges.

Also charged is Nicholas Soto, 27, who is formerly from Red Deer but moved to Calgary. Soto faces 14 charges related to drugs and possession of weapons.

Police announced the bust and charges on Wednesday.

The police allege the drug network supplied several criminal organizations and Alberta street gangs with large quantities of cocaine.

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

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