Members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime say they’ve dismantled a cocaine distribution ring that involves Grande Prairie. In a press conference Thursday morning, officials announced that a year-long investigation into the Hells Angels chapter in Edmonton called “Project Entry” has resulted in charges against 10 people.
Police say around five kilograms of cocaine was seized, along with half a kilogram of the buffing agent Phenacetin, cannabis resin, a handgun, multiple vehicles and motorcycles, and $13,000 cash. RCMP Chief Superintendent Ian Lawson says he’s proud of the attempt to stopping the movement of drugs.
“The true success in this investigation is the complete destruction of this networks reach and the tentacles that it had spread into so many communities across this province.”
32-year-old Joseph Collicutt of Grande Prairie is among the people charged. They also include a member of the Hells Angels and members of the Dirty Few Lakeland chapter, which is considered a support club. Lawson says the club was used to increase the gang’s influence in the drug market.
“In this instance, the support club members were believed to be used to traffic cocaine and expand territory into secondary markets such as Cold Lake, Spruce Grove, Whitecourt and Grande Prarie.”
ALERT CEO Superintendent Chad Coles adds the biker groups are growing.
“Over the past five years, outlaw motorcycle gangs have significantly expanded their criminal influence. They’ve developed excessive ties to over 30 percent of known crime groups in Canada.”
It is not known yet when any of the accused will see court. The arrests were made between July 25th and 30th.
Written by Mike Marshall, Country 99