Officers put damper on drug flow

Increasingly, organized crime groups are using public roadways to transport dangerous contraband goods, such as drugs, guns, and

  • Aug. 1, 2012 4:00 p.m.

Increasingly, organized crime groups are using public roadways to transport dangerous contraband goods, such as drugs, guns, and stolen property. Alberta RCMP Traffic Services plays a critical role in detecting and disrupting illegal activity on provincial roadways. Their work leads to seizures that form the basis for, or become part of larger complex investigations.

In addition to their ongoing effort to keep roadways safe, RCMP traffic services continue to do exceptional work at targeting one of the major threats to the safety of communities — drugs.

While their work may not always make the headlines, these dedicated officers are making a huge difference in maintaining the safety of our families, homes, and schools.

“We are dedicated to using all the tools and mechanisms we have, and to committing the resources necessary to track, investigate, make arrests and effect seizures of illegal drugs moving in and around our province. We make every effort to address our number one goal of ensuring safe homes and safe communities for all Albertans,” said Sgt. Dave Wilkinson of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “Our co-ordinated effort is certainly paying off, and we are not going to stop.”

Between April and July, 2012, the RCMP have been responsible for the seizure of over $97,000 in cash, which has been confiscated as proceeds of crime, more than 25 pounds of marijuana, and 155 grams of cocaine. All of these items have been seized from travelling criminals.

Drugs seized would have otherwise been sold on Alberta streets. This amount of marijuana and cocaine could have resulted in the distribution or sales of approximately 2,270 joints, and 1,550 casual use doses of these illicit and harmful drugs.

Wilkinson said Alberta Traffic Services also contributes invaluable police information to ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle organized crime in the province.

On July 1, RCMP conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle traveling eastbound on Highway 16, after which a check of the licence plate indicated that the registered owner had eight outstanding drug related warrants for his arrest. The driver was confirmed to be the registered owner of the vehicle and was subsequently taken into custody.

Soon after, a search was conducted of the vehicle which yielded 155 grams of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and a homemade device believed to be used as a weapon, designed in the form of a wrecking ball on a chain.

A separate but similar incident took place on July 18 involving two different people, when an RCMP traffic officer stopped a speeding vehicle east of Lake Louise.

The rental vehicle was occupied by two men from Edmonton. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded approximately 25.5 lbs. of cannabis, and more than $3,000 in Canadian cash. The two Edmonton males now face drug-related charges.

“Albertans expect to live in a place free of crime and violence, and illegal drugs pose a real threat to that safety,” said Supt. Howard Eaton, officer-in-charge of traffic services for Alberta. “We are, and will remain vigilant at getting drugs and illegal activity out of our province.”

If you have any information about criminal activity or suspicious activity, contact your nearest RCMP detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can provide your information through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or go online to www.tipsubmit.com.

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