After a year investigating and arresting people involved in serious criminal activity in the city, Red Deer’s ALERT team has seized more than a quarter of a million dollars worth of drugs.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team started on May 16, 2013, and within a week they had executed what Sgt. Gerald Ouellet called a “mid-level” bust at the time.
About $60,000 in drugs were seized and four people were arrested.
The ALERT body, known as the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Team in Red Deer, mostly targets drug-related crime.
Among the arrests and seizures was that of two Calgary men who police allege attempted to move large volumes of cocaine in the Red Deer market. More than $100,000 worth of cocaine, methamphetamine and cannabis resin was seized.
“Red Deer is a different type of city from any other type of city this size in Alberta,” said Ouellet. “Because of the location and availability of Red Deer to Calgary and Edmonton, we have activity coming from both.”
At the end of January, the team completed a joint investigation with Service Alberta. Jason Shawn Fraser, 31, of Red Deer pleaded guilty to his role in a prescription drug scheme.
He fraudulently obtained 66 prescriptions from 30 physicians and would then sell the drugs on the street.
In total he sold more than $100,000 worth of oxycodone, diazepam, clonazepam and morphine he obtained through the prescription scheme.
“We feel we’ve had some success with what we’ve accomplished,” said Ouellet.
“Red Deer isn’t immune to crime and gang activities, but we’re going to continue to gather information and work on files.”
Most recently, they assisted Innisfail RCMP with the execution of a warrant west of Innisfail. They found a cache of weapons, including high-powered rifles, a loaded handgun, crossbows, bayonets, swords and even a medieval flail. Two people were arrested and charged; their case is currently before the courts.
“Weapons are always a concern, when someone has them to commit criminal activities,” said Ouellet. “It is an item we focus on.”
Aside from the busts and arrests, the team does a lot of intelligence work, gathering information and learning as much as possible about the drug trade and other criminal activity in the city.