Significant arrests in 2020

·3 min read

For criminals, it just becomes a matter of when and not if they get caught. Sometimes all it takes is a simple roadside stop from police or criminals to make a slip. There have been four serious crimes and multiple arrests made, bringing relief to the residents who’ve been affected.

The first arrest occurred on April 15, 2020, after RCMP received a tip of a man selling drugs. The vehicle traffic stop resulted in the seizure of drugs, money and bear spray. A subsequent search of his home resulted in the discovery of additional drugs. As a result, 59-year-old Salahadin Omar Idris was charged with six offences, which included possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited device without a license, possession of property obtained by crime, carrying a concealed weapon and possession for the purpose of trafficking. A total of $53,234. cash and 120 grams of cocaine were seized.

Another drug bust on August 8, 2020, resulted in the arrest of four individuals. RCMP executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence in Fox Creek. As a result, RCMP found a significant amount of drugs, drug paraphernalia. Upon further searching, officers discovered a sawed-off shotgun, a replica firearm, ammunition, butterfly knife and cash. Terrence Bergseth of Fox Creek and Samantha Alley were both charged with possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking, possession of an opioid along with several weapons charges. A 21-year-old male and a 28-year-old female were also arrested in the home and charged with drug and weapon-related offences.

Following a two-week string of break and enters and vehicle thefts in August 2020, RCMP located and apprehend 37-year-old Matthew Duffy. Duffy had stolen a Polaris side by side and used that for his transportation method during the crimes in the community. RCMP received tips from the public, which led RCMP to an abandoned lease site where they located stolen property. Among the items included a Dodge truck, flatbed trailer, stolen identification cards, and numerous other items, including four cans of bear spray, methamphetamine and heroin. Duffy was charged with possession of property x 5, proceeds of crime, possession for the purpose of trafficking heroin, possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, breach of probation, fail to comply with release order, flight from police, obstruction and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

After a year-long investigation, RCMP and the Eastern Alberta District General Investigation Section were finally able to close in and arrest several individuals on November 17, 2020, responsible for the ATM thefts in the region, including Fox Creek. These individuals caused over $500,000 in property damage during the ATM thefts and stole over $100,000. After a two hour pursuit on November 16, the suspects switched vehicles and evaded police. With the collaborated efforts from the Emergency Response Team, RCMP District Intel Coordinator and five other detachments, the suspects were apprehended the next day. Arrested are Daniel Patrick O’Donnell, Charlie Louise Bronson and Lorne Kyle Jack Harris. Two weeks later, RCMP was able to arrest a fourth individual, Darwyn Ronald Beaudry. Over 100 charges have been laid from the multiple RCMP detachments, including theft, disguise with intent, fleeing police, resisting arrest, and participating in a criminal organization. Due to the extent of the crimes and continued investigation, RCMP anticipates further arrests.

Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press