The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams seized 400 fentanyl pills and arrested two men for trafficking, as well as arresting two others for trying to break into the Lethbridge, Alta., apartment where the drugs were found.

The ALERT organized crime and gang team in Lethbridge arrested the initial two men after receiving information about suspected fentanyl trafficking and then obtained search warrants for the apartment where one of the men lived, according to a news release.

Police say they found 400 fentanyl pills in the apartment and when they searched the car in which the men were arrested, they found an additional pill, cellphones and a small amount of cash. 

"This is one of the largest seizures of fentanyl we've had in Lethbridge," said Staff Sgt. Jason Walper of ALERT Lethbridge in a news release. 

Luke Tams, 27, has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime, resisting arrest and breach of recognizance. 

Ryan Toner, 33, has been charged with possession. 

Officers watched attempted break-in

In a twist, two people were also arrested for trying to break into the apartment where the search warrant was executed.

Walper told CBC News the officers were watching the apartment prior to the search warrants being issued and saw two individuals attempting to break in. 

"Our officers made a decision that they couldn't just sit there and watch someone break into a residence, even though it was a subject residence, and made a decision to compromise themselves and arrest the people," he said, but added it did not negatively affect their investigation.

Mason Cranston, 34, has been charged with breaking and entering and possession of break-in instruments, while Lindsay Ito, 40, has been charged with attempted breaking and entering and breach of recognizance. 

"It's not often that we are in a position to actually observe that type of occurrence, with somebody actually breaking into a house," said Walper. 

"It caught our guys off guard a little bit, but certainly they responded appropriately and arrested the two people involved."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story attributed, in once instance, the arrest to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. The agency responsible is the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.
    May 19, 2017 12:21 PM MT