Updated: Red Deer RCMP make city’s biggest ever fentanyl bust

More than 3,500 fentanyl tablets and other drugs seized last month

Red Deer RCMP’s biggest fentanyl bust ever saw more than 3,500 tablets of the deadly opioid seized last month along with cocaine and methamphetamine.

Three Vancouver-area men are facing numerous drug charges after police armed with search warrants descended on three Red Deer properties Aug. 28. The arrests followed a drug investigation that began Aug. 13.

The bust is one of the biggest fentanyl seizures in Alberta.

Police seized 3,521 fentanyl tablets weighing just over 2.1 kilograms. As well, 1,009 grams of cocaine, 429 grams of methamphetamine, 681 grams of a cutting agent and 360 grams of an as-yet-unconfirmed substance were taken off the street. Police also seized five vehicles and $82,075 in Canadian cash.

During a seizure in June, investigators seized $2,845 in cash proceeds of crime and more than $110,000 worth of drugs, including more than 1,000 tablets of various illicit prescription drugs.

In a previous haul in March, police had seized a huge quantity of drugs, including nearly 10.5 kg of cocaine, fentanyl, ketamine and methamphetamine.

Red Deer RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said this was an “extremely significant” drug seizure that will make a dent in the local drug trade.

Sgt. Paul Glanville described the suspects arrested as the higher end of the drug trafficking spectrum. Given the amount of drugs involved, links to organized crime are likely.

The size of the bust is “significant,” he said. “It is going to have an impact. To what extent, I can’t exactly say.”

Most of the drugs were likely meant for the Red Deer market, but some may also have been destined for other central Alberta communities.

Police are not done with the investigation yet and hope to lay charges against additional suspects in coming weeks, he said.

Mayor Tara Veer said the latest bust “serves as an important signal to our community and to our province that our intense focus on drug enforcement is making a difference.

“Drug trafficking will not be tolerated in our community and we are safer today as a community as a result of this seizure,” said Veer.

Red Deer, like many Canadian communities, continues to be challenged by the national addiction crisis, she said.

“Red Deer is most unfortunately not alone in the significant problems confronting our community. The consequences of a national addictions crisis and deep economic recession are a reality that are on our community’s doorstep.

“A seizure of this scale and the subsequent arrests is tremendous news for our community.”

Veer pointed out that police last week showed off the fruits of another investigation. More than a dozen firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, two handguns, a prohibited magazine and 9,000 rounds of ammunition, were recovered by ALERT’s Red Deer organized crime and gang team.

Police also found 56 grams of cocaine worth about $5,600 on the street.

Veer said the city and its police will never give up the fight to keep drugs off the streets. But tackling addiction requires a community-wide effort and more treatment options, she added.

Raymond Tyrell Brown, 26, has been charged with four counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, possession of property over $5,000 obtained by crime and four counts of failing to comply with court orders.

George Deighton, 25, has been charged with four counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance and possession of property over $5,000 obtained by crime.

Henry Ruttle, 25, has been charged with four counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance and possession of property over $5,000 obtained by crime.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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