Fairview man gets two years after pleading guilty in massive 2015 drug bust
A Fairview man arrested for his involvement in a drug trafficking network in Fort Mcmurray has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Gary Partridge, 69, had already pled guilty to trafficking of a controlled substance when he was sentenced Wednesday in an Edmonton courtroom.
According to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, Partridge was one of eight people arrested in 2015 following a two-year investigation that ended with the seizure of more than $1 million in drugs, an impressive haul of luxury vehicles, firearms and cash.
On June 3, 2015, Wood Buffalo RCMP and ALERT executed seven search warrants by raiding five homes, a hotel room at the Chateau Nova and the Supplement King store in Thickwood.
It took more than a week for police to catalogue their haul: 2,908 fentanyl pills, 198 grams of psilocybin, 26.3 kilograms of marijuana and 7.2 kilograms of cocaine. Police also seized $23,150 in cash, six high-end vehicles, six recreational vehicles and a trailer.
A shotgun and loaded rifle with a prohibited magazine modified to hold more than the legally allowed five bullets were also found.
Seven people were arrested, while Partridge and another man were arrested in the following weeks.
“In this particular investigation, we pulled out all the stops to ensure their operations would be eliminated,” said Inspector Chad Coles at the time of the arrests.
“When you look at fentanyl alone, and the number of overdose deaths it’s been tied too, it’s a very violent drug,” said ALERT spokesperson Mike Tucker during a 2015 interview with the Today. “And clearly, with cocaine, a very valuable commodity, highly addictive, it can destroy lives and families.”
Several individuals are still in court since the arrests.
Patrick Felix and Spencer Brown, who are alleged to be the masterminds of the operation, are scheduled to make their next appearance in Edmonton’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Dec. 19.
A trial was already held for Jason Mulley and a decision is expected to be scheduled for sometime in January.
Other people connected to the case have already been sentenced.
Paul Ohelo was sentenced to five-and-a-half years on trafficking charges in July 2017 after pleading guilty.
Alexander Jurich was found guilty of drug trafficking charges and sentenced to five years imprisonment in April 2016.
A trafficking charge was withdrawn, as was the charge of conspiring to commit an indictable offense and five firearm charges.
Mandy Gauvreau pleaded guilty to trafficking a controlled substance in April 2016. Six trafficking charges were withdrawn, as was the charge of conspiring to commit an indictable offense.
She was sentenced the following June to three-and-a-half years imprisonment, but has since been released.
All charges against Rachel Jurich were withdrawn.
Inspector Chad Coles of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team poses with a bag of cocaine outside Wood Buffalo RCMP headquarters on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. ALERT held a press conference at the building after seizing more than $1 million worth of drugs following a two-year investigation.