Calgary police arrest 3, seize drugs and guns after Red Deer trafficking probe

Police have seized guns, drugs and ammunition after a months-long drug trafficking investigation that started in Red Deer and ended in Calgary with the arrest of three suspects.

Case puts 'significant dent' in Alberta organized crime group with ties to B.C.

'The sheer number of weapons and ammunition discovered during this operation is deeply concerning,' said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Drug Unit. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

Police have seized guns, drugs and ammunition after a months-long drug trafficking investigation that ended in Calgary with the arrest of three suspects.

"Two of the suspects, who lived in Red Deer and Calgary, were extremely active in drug trafficking and violent crimes in the Red Deer area," police said.

In addition to nine guns, 12,159 rounds of ammunition, body armour, $14,400 in cash and almost 400 grams of drugs were seized, police said.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Drug Unit said it was "a tremendous amount of amunition."

Two men were arrested on Jan. 5 in a "high-risk takedown" on Silverado Creek Crescent in southwest Calgary.

They were attempting to flee in a stolen vehicle after an attempted armed robbery at the Rocky Mountain Pawn shop on Macleod Trail South.

In addition to nine guns, more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition, along with body armour, cash and drugs were seized, police said. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

A 30-year-old from Red Deer has been charged with robbery, pointing a firearm and wearing a face mask while carrying out an offence.

A 37-year-old from Calgary has been charged with robbery, possession of an unlicensed weapon and possession of cocaine and crystal meth for the purposes of trafficking.

Charges are pending against a 55-year-old Red Deer woman.

The break in the case has put a "significant dent" in an organized crime group that was active across Alberta and had ties to B.C., police said.

"The sheer number of weapons and ammunition discovered during this operation is deeply concerning," said Schiavetta.

"It speaks to the level of violence these groups are willing to go to, putting the public at significant risk."

Joint investigation

The arrests came after a joint investigation by RCMP and the Calgary police drug unit. The two forces combined their efforts in November, 2015 after realizing they were investigating the same suspects. 

Schiavetta said Calgary police talk "on a daily basis" with other forces and to tackle organized crime that is not limited to a specific jurisdiction. 

"We believe that the individuals who were charged today are associated to an organized crime group that was in the process of transitioning from a low-level, or street-level group, to a mid-level organized crime group that had an influence, not only in the Calgary area, but central Alberta," he said. 

He said the investigation, which is ongoing, revealed ties to organized crime groups in B.C.

Items seized in the raids:

  • A loaded .410-calibre handgun
  • Webley & Scott .38-calibre revolver
  • Arminius HW7S revolver
  • Two SKS rifles
  • Two sawed off shotguns
  • .22-calibre long-barrel rifle
  • .22-calibre Archangel assault rifle
  • Rounds of ammunition, including: .410-gauge, 10-gauge, 12-gauge, 44 Magnums, 16-gauge, 20-gauge, .22-calibre, .22 hornet, .303-calibre, .223-calibre, .370-calibre, .30-30 gun, .30-06, .38 special, 7.62x39-mm, 9-mm and .45-calibre
  • Three sets of body armour, two containing a ceramic plate
  • Several knives, collapsible baton
  • $14,400 cash
  • 203.2 grams of methamphetamine ($20,320 street value)
  • 181.1 grams of powder cocaine ($18,100 street value)
  • 4.7 g crack cocaine ($470 street value)
  • 75 ml GHB
  • 2.12 kg of cutting agent
  • Packaging material, scales, two large money counters, numerous drug score sheets consistent with drug trafficking, gloves and clothing, cell phones

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