Largest drug bust in Leth­bridge his­tory nets $1.2M

Medicine Hat News - - WEST - MELISSA VIL­LENEUVE Leth­bridge Her­ald mvil­leneuve@leth­bridge­

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.

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