Taber group ac­cused of sell­ing firearms, stolen ve­hi­cles

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - The Country Bargaineer -

More than $200,000 worth of stolen prop­erty and 63 firearms have been re­cov­ered af­ter an ALERT in­ves­ti­ga­tion in south­east Al­berta.

ALERT’s South­east Al­berta Prop­erty Crime Unit part­nered with Taber Po­lice Ser­vice, Taber RCMP, and Medicine Hat Po­lice Ser­vice on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which cul­mi­nated with search war­rants be­ing ex­e­cuted on Septem­ber 10.

“ALERT was suc­cess­ful in dis­rupt­ing a group of in­di­vid­u­als who were im­pact­ing ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties with thefts and prop­erty crime of­fences,” said ALERT CEO Supt. Dwayne Lakusta. “We will con­tinue to work with our polic­ing part­ners and Crown pros­e­cu­tors to en­sure these in­di­vid­u­als are held ac­count­able.”

Three lo­ca­tions in Taber were searched and five peo­ple were ar­rested. The group is sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in break-and-en­ters and ve­hi­cle thefts in Taber, Vaux­hall, Leth­bridge, Stir­ling, Vul­can, Bow Is­land, Seven Per­sons, Coal­dale, and Barn­well.

ALERT fur­ther al­leges that the sus­pects were in­volved in firearms traf­fick­ing. Sixty-three firearms were seized, along with ap­prox­i­mately 60 dis­as­sem­bled firearms and parts, and thou­sands of rounds of am­mu­ni­tion.

Taber is lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately 100 kilo­me­ters west of Medicine Hat.

Fol­low­ing the search war­rants, in­ves­ti­ga­tors spent weeks cat­a­logu­ing the stolen prop­erty and at­tempt­ing to re­unite items with their right­ful own­ers. The stolen prop­erty in­cluded:

• seven ve­hi­cles;

• a util­ity trailer;

• li­cense plates;

• lawn­mow­ers;

• com­pres­sors;

• gen­er­a­tors; and

• power tools.

Five sus­pects were ar­rested and face a to­tal of 76 of­fences, in­clud­ing crim­i­nal charges such as traf­fick­ing stolen prop­erty, traf­fick­ing firearms, pos­ses­sion of pro­ceeds of crime, and fraud:

•Ja­son Piz­zati, a 46-year-old man from Taber;

• Cor­nelius Wolf, a 38-year-old man from Taber;

• Dustyn McCracken, a 20-year-old man from Taber;

• Greg Kosowan, a 72-year-old man from Taber; and

• Hein­rich Wolf, a 35-year-old man from Taber.

ALERT’s South­east Al­berta Prop­erty Crime Unit launched at the be­gin­ning of April 2020, with its cre­ation at­trib­ut­able to new fund­ing pro­vided by the Al­berta Gov­ern­ment. The joint forces ini­tia­tive is aimed at tack­ling re­gional prop­erty crime.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic who sus­pect drug or gang ac­tiv­ity in their com­mu­nity can call lo­cal po­lice, or con­tact Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stop­pers is al­ways anony­mous. Medicine Hat residents can also sub­mit tips anony­mously through the Medicine Hat Po­lice Ser­vice mo­bile app, which is free to down­load and avail­able for both Ap­ple and An­droid de­vices.

ALERT was es­tab­lished and is funded by the Al­berta Gov­ern­ment and is a com­pi­la­tion of the prov­ince’s most so­phis­ti­cated law en­force­ment re­sources com­mit­ted to tack­ling se­ri­ous and or­ga­nized crime.

Photo con­trib­uted

ALERT in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Taber thefts re­cov­ered many items.

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