A small arsenal of weapons has been stripped from the hands of drug dealers.
ALERT’s Red Deer organized crime and gang team seized four guns and arrested two people following a week-long investigation in downtown Red Deer on May 19.
ALERT Insp. Chad Coles said the team searched a home in the 4900-block of 54 Street following tips from the public.
Coles said in this case it wasn’t a huge number of drugs seized but firearms associated with the seizure have been taken off the street.
“We are seeing that more and more — firearms involved with people involved in the drug trade having these type of weapons when they are authorized not to have them,” said Coles. “It is a concern for public safety and police officer safety when you conduct the search warrant like this finding the people are in possession of firearms.”
Police seized an SKS semi-automatic carbine with collapsible stock; a .308-calibre semi-automatic rifle; a 7 mm rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. Coles said police are coming across the SKS semi-automatic more frequently throughout the province.
“These people do not have the proper authorization to have the firearms,” said Coles. “When you put the firearms and the drugs together, it is a concerning trend.”
The weapons will be tested to determine whether they are connected to other crimes.
Police also seized various ammunition, body armour, nine grams of cocaine; 98 suspected codeine pills and $980 in cash.
The investigation is continuing.
A 22-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman have been jointly charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, four counts of careless storage of a firearm, four counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm and four counts of possession of a firearm for a dangerous purpose. Both were released from custody and are expected to appear in court on July 7.
ALERT is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).