13 arrested in Fort McMurray 'dial-a-dope' drug ring

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Thirteen people from across the country are facing charges in connection with a "dial-a-dope" drug ring in Fort McMurray.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams organized crime unit launched an investigation in partnership with the Wood Buffalo RCMP last year,  ALERT said in a news release on Monday.

After four months of investigation, officers seized undisclosed amounts of cocaine and fentanyl from the northern Alberta community and starting making arrests.

Dealing drugs through these illicit delivery services is usually the first step into gang life, the police said. Criminal networks often use "dial-a-dope" dealers to insulate themselves from the risks associated with the drug trade, including arrests, drug debts and violence, ALERT said.

Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 21, eight people were arrested. Warrants have been issued for five others.

The suspects, all between 19  and 36 years old, have each been charged with at least one of offence of drug trafficking.

Six of the suspects are from Fort McMurray, five are from the Edmonton area, one man is from Ontario and another suspect is from Nova Scotia.