Largest drug bust in Lethbridge history nets $1.2M
Three people are facing multiple charges following what police say is the largest drug seizure ever in Lethbridge.
ALERT Lethbridge’s organized crime and gang team, an integrated unit comprised of Lethbridge Police Service and RCMP, seized more than $1.2 million in drugs, firearms and proceeds of crime from four homes Saturday.
The bust represents a significant blow to organized crime and drug trafficking in the city and surrounding community, said LPS Chief Rob Davis during a news conference Wednesday.
“The seizure prevented thousands of doses of harmful and potentially fatal drugs from making their way into the streets and ultimately into the homes of people we know,” said Davis.
The ALERT investigation began in December after police received information about a group of suspected drug dealers operating in Lethbridge.
On Saturday, police stopped a vehicle on Highway 3, just outside the city, allegedly returning from the B.C. lower mainland. Four kilograms of cannabis resin was found stashed inside a hidden compartment.
After the traffic stop, search warrants were conducted at four homes located in the 200 block of Ryerson Road West, 200 block of Lasalle Terrace West, 0 block of Modesto Road West and 800 block of 11 Street North. Significant quantities of drugs were seized from all the homes.
Drew Boake, 27, is charged with eight counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime; Alexander Herbert, 29, is charged with 10 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime; and Katlyn Robinson, 23, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.
All three made their first appearance in Lethbridge provincial court on Wednesday.
Robinson, who appeared by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, was released on $1,000 bail and ordered not to have any contact with the two co-accused. She must also report weekly to the Lethbridge Police Service and obey a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. every day. Her next court hearing is set for March 8.
Herbert and Boake, on the other hand, were remanded following their court appearance. They are back in court today however, and are expected to have their own bail hearings.
Drugs seized include 8,054 ecstasy pills; 546 grams of cocaine; 305 grams of methamphetamine; 20.9 kilograms of marijuana; 4.5 kilograms of cannabis resin; nine kilograms of psilocybin mushrooms; 1,605 tabs of LSD; and 1,575 Xanax pills.
There are also some unknown pills that have to be analyzed further to determine their composition.
ALERT also seized four firearms, $120,000 cash proceeds of crime and four vehicles valued at $140,000: a Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Ram, Audi A4 and Chevrolet Impala. The vehicles and cash will be referred to civil forfeiture.
Equipment police believe was used to manufacture cannabis resin, including a marijuana dehydrator and an extractor, were also found, as well as a cash-counting machine and a radio jammer, which is used to disrupt police radio frequencies so they can’t communicate with each other.