Nova Scotia

Peter Griffon, formerly of N.S., linked to Mexican drug cartel

A former Nova Scotia man has been arrested in Alberta, accused of being part of a gang with links to Mexican drug cartels.

Griffon grew up in the New Glasgow area, but has been out west for a few years

Insp. Darcy Strang holds up one of the weapons seized from three Edmonton houses searched as part of the La Familia investigation. (CBC)

A former Nova Scotia man has been arrested in Alberta, accused of being part of a gang with links to Mexican drug cartels.

Peter Alan Griffon, grew up in the New Glasgow area, but has been out west for a few years. This fall he became one of the targets of a major police investigation into a cartel trying to muscle aggressively into Alberta's drug trade.

Last week, the Edmonton Police Service took down four Mexican cartel members in Edmonton, seized two .22 calibre rifles (one with a silencer), a .44 calibre Desert Eagle handgun, a sawed-off shotgun, body armour and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

At a press conference last Wednesday where the weapons were displayed, Insp. Darcy Strang said the presence of the handgun and the modified rifle with a silencer were most alarming to police.

"These two weapons, are not used for bird hunting," he said at a news conference last week. "They’re definitely used for human hunting. This is a group that was armed and ready to defend what they had."

La Familia is an international support arm of Mexican drug cartels with strong ties to MS-13, a deadly El Salvadoran gang.

"The Family’s presence in Alberta should be of concern to Albertans," Strang said last Wednesday. "Their connection to Mexican cartels and MS-13 (also known as the Mara Salvatrucha gang) creates a linkage to violence that is incomprehensible to most."

Officers in Alberta seized cocaine, MDMA, oxycodone, cocaine and cash, along with several firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. (CBC)

One of the four alleged La Familia members swept up was former Nova Scotia resident Peter Griffon, arrested Dec. 11.

Officers searched his southwest Edmonton home and say they found four kilograms of cocaine, 2.6 kilograms of MDMA, $30,000 in cash and two 22 rifles.

"I can tell you that Peter Alan Griffon was one of the targets of this investigation," Strang said.

Griffon’s family in Nova Scotia are shocked, saying he left for out west a few years ago, looking for work, and spent some time in Alberta's oil patch.

One family member says he wasn't trained at a trade, but bounced around from job to job.

Police in Alberta say western Canadian prosperity has drawn plenty of people from Atlantic Canada for work, but also some for crime.

"It's the same thing with drugs too," Strang said. "He's not the only one that we've arrested, I can think of in recent months from the East Coast."

Griffon faces a slew of weapons and drug charges, but he has been released on bail and is due back in Edmonton court next month.

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