Detroit Red Wings’ forward Gordie Howe is shown in a November, 1967 file photo. Calgary Police have recovered a number of collectibles including an autographed and framed Gordie Howe jersey as part of a drug investigation. A suspect was arrested late last month in which a man was believed to be receiving stolen property in exchange for drugs over a period of nine days. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Sports and musical collectibles exchanged for drugs: Calgary police

CALGARY — Police in Calgary have recovered a number of collectibles including a framed jersey signed by hockey legend Gordie Howe as part of a drug investigation.

Investigators arrested a man late last month and say they believe stolen property was exchanged for drugs over a period of nine days.

Officers recovered cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and cannabis, as well as counterfeit U.S. cash and a number of collectibles, including Howe’s jersey.

They also recovered a picture signed by the band the Tragically Hip, an electric guitar autographed by singer Sass Jordan, vintage comic books and hockey and trading cards.

“We believe that some of the stolen property was being retained in the residence,” said Insp. Joe Brar with the Calgary Police Service investigative operations section.

“What we have seen in the past in other cases is the stolen items are later sold … Kijiji seems to be … the biggest method for selling these items.”

John Christopher Fraser, 43, of Calgary is facing 37 charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of stolen property.

A number of weapons were also recovered, including knives, swords and five firearms, two of which were stolen.

Investigators are trying to identify who owns the collectibles.

“We believe the original owners of these items were the victims of a crime and the people who stole the items exchanged them for drugs,” said Brar.

Brar said police received a tip from the public. He said some of the cards and comics recovered also were valuable.

“We found trading cards of Marilyn Monroe that are valued at $600. There’s some comic books that are valued in the hundreds of dollars as well.”

Police say the investigation continues and further charges are expected.

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