Eight Arrested in Southeast Alberta Drug Sting

Medicine Hat, Alberta – Eight people were arrested in connection with an ALERT drug trafficking investigation that took place in southeastern Alberta. Searches were conducted in Medicine Hat and Tilley, Alta.

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On November 8, ALERT’s Medicine Hat organized crime team seized two firearms, ammunition, cocaine, and methamphetamine with the assistance of Medicine Hat Police Service, RCMP Brooks, and RCMP Redcliff officers. ALERT began its investigation in late October after receiving information about drug trafficking in the region.

“The suspected drug trafficking of these individuals had a negative impact across multiple communities in the region. Methamphetamine has been a significant concern in our community and we are committed to working with our partner agencies to disrupt its illicit sale,” said Staff Sgt. Cory Both.

ALERT conducted a search warrant at a rural residence in Tilley, which is located approximately 90 kilometres northwest of Medicine Hat. A vehicle was also searched in Medicine Hat that contained a large amount of meth and a handgun.

As result of both searches, ALERT seized:

  • 44-caliber handgun;
  • 22-caliber rifle;
  • Various rounds of ammunition;
  • 57 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 14 grams of cocaine;
  • 34 cartons of contraband cigarettes;
  • $3,550 cash proceeds of crime.

In total eight people were arrested. Five of the suspects were arrested but have yet to be formally charged.

So far a total of 20 charges have been laid against three individuals:

Justin Crawford, 34, of Medicine Hat was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (x 2), unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless storage of a firearm, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public (x 2), possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition, possession of a firearm in a vehicle, possession of a prohibited weapon, breach of recognizance (x 6).

Alan Dressel, 40, of Tilley was charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless storage of a firearm, possession of proceeds of crime, and breach of recognizance (x 2);

Rodney McNabb, 39, of Saskatchewan was charged with an outstanding Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at-large;

Dressel’s breach charges are in relation to a previous ALERT investigation. In August 2016 Dressel was one of the suspects arrested in a seizure involving $80,000 worth of drugs. Crawford was previously arrested by ALERT as part of a meth trafficking investigation in October 2016.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

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