MEDICINE HAT — The ALERT unit has dismantled what it says was a whole drug trafficking network in Medicine Hat.
A 3 month investigation ended with the arrest of 7 people last Tuesday.
Two vehicles heading for Medicine Hat were stopped by investigators; the same day search warrants were executed at 3 city homes and one in Elkwater.
Investigators seized over 64 thousand dollars in drugs and cash,including 372 grams of cocaine and over a thousand grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
Two shotguns, ammunition and an assortment of knives and other weapons were also confiscated.
Medicine Hat Police Organized Crime Section S/Sgt. Cory Both said it was a bust he believes does a lot to get drugs and weapons off the street.
“This is significant,” said Both. “Not just the weight and dollar amount, but the weapons that are involved. Anytime you got gun play involved in a drug and organized crime file it just demonstrates their willingness to use violence to protect their organization.”
4 of the 7 arrested are from Medicine Hat.
They include 24 year old Kurtis Siemens, 23 year old Jazden Posti, 35 year old Michael Van De Wielge and 27 year old Kevin Ehrler.
3 others from Edmonton are also accused.
Cocaine isn’t often the drug police in Medicine Hat focus on with crystal methamphetamine and fentanyl being far more prevalent.
But Both said cocaine is still entering Medicine Hat on a regular basis.
“It hasn’t gone away, it’s very prevalent, it is becoming more so,” he said. “It’s becoming more socially acceptable and it’s available to a certain strata of the community that doesn’t usually get involved with the police that much.”
Both added it’s a rare case of dismantling both the local dealers and the Edmonton-based supplier.
“In one investigation they managed not only to deal with pretty much the whole local end of the organization, they managed to take out the supply chain as well,” he said. “Which doesn’t always happen, but it’s our ideal circumstance.”
A total of 27 drug and firearm related charges have been laid and police say more may be laid in the future.
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