A joint investigation in southern Alberta has resulted in the arrest of nine people, warrants issued for two more and the seizure of drugs, cash, a weapon and almost half-a-million dollars worth of stolen property.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team's (ALERT) Medicine Hat organized crime unit, along with Medicine Hat police and RCMP from Gleichen, started the investigation in December and executed six search warrants on Feb. 25.
The searches were at four homes in Strathmore, one in Wheatland County and a business in Gleichen.
ALERT said police seized:
- Loaded 9-mm Norinco handgun.
- 561 grams of methamphetamine.
- 126 grams of crack cocaine.
- 146 grams of marijuana.
- $9,000 cash proceeds of crime.
- Five stolen pick-up trucks.
- Two utility trailers.
- Two recreational vehicles.
- Flat-deck trailer.
- Skid-steer loader.
- Transport truck.
Officials says there was $75,000 in drugs and cash. There was also roughly $450,000 in stolen property, which they believe was being exchanged for drugs.
Criminal organization charge
ALERT says Craig Coffey, a 41-year-old man from Strathmore, was at the centre of the investigation. He's charged with instructing the commission of an offence for a criminal organization, in addition to 27 drug and stolen property charges.
Eight others were also charged with more than 30 offences as a result of the investigation:
- Echo Brandt, 39, from Strathmore.
- Tracy Brown, 38, from Strathmore.
- Paul Craig, 42, from Wheatland County.
- Michael Fittler, 27, from Strathmore.
- Kurtis Goett, 19, man from Strathmore.
- Michael MacCharles, 49, from Strathmore.
- James MacCormack, 59, from Gleichen.
- Gabriella Michaud, 20, from Strathmore.
ALERT said warrants have also been issued for 24-year-old Jalene Campbell and 31-year-old Kyle Labbe, both from Strathmore.
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