Lethbridge, Alberta – Lethbridge Police, with the assistance of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhood (SCAN) Unit, have charged two individuals and seized drugs, cash and counterfeit currency Wednesday.
Members of the SCAN Unit of the Alberta Sheriffs reported to police a vehicle involved in activity consistent with drug trafficking on May 4, 2022. The vehicle was stopped by police in the 1000 block of 4 Avenue South and seized was 28.2 grams of methamphetamine, 5.8 grams of fentanyl and a smaller amount of cocaine, as well as 67.8 grams of marijuana. Also seized were $145 in proceeds of crime, a counterfeit Canadian $20 bill and an identification card.
Jeffrey Steven Martens, 53, of Lethbridge, has been charged: with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking; possession of a controlled substance; possession of the proceeds of crime; possession of counterfeit money; and possession of an identity document. He was released from custody with a scheduled court appearance of July 14, 2022.
Margret Ann Clifton, 48, of Shaughnessy, has been charged under the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act with offences including possession of illicit marijuana, and possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana in public. She was released with a scheduled court appearance of June 28, 2022.
Lethbridge Police Service
From the Alberta Sheriffs:
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owner of 124 19 Street N that gives investigators the authority to close the property for 90 days.
The community safety order, obtained in Court of Queen’s Bench, took effect on May 4 and bars people from the property until the closure period ends on Aug. 2. Crews installed a fence around the property, boarded up the house and changed the locks to prevent unauthorized access before then.
“Alberta’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives law enforcement another tool for fighting crime by targeting properties associated with illegal activity. Community safety orders can help break the cycle of crime and allow law-abiding Albertans to take back their neighbourhoods and rest easier.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
The property in this case is also the subject of a court-ordered sale unrelated to the investigation. The SCAN unit will continue to monitor the premises until the community safety order expires on April 26, 2023, or until the property is sold.
The Alberta Sheriffs work with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through civil enforcement.
Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated almost 7,000 problem properties and issued nearly 100 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.
The investigation began in March 2022, in response to a complaint from the community about drug and criminal activity at the property.
Investigators confirmed illegal activity was taking place, observing multiple drug transactions and finding drug paraphernalia strewn around the property.
The property was the subject of a previous SCAN unit investigation, which resulted in a 90-day closure in 2021. The property owner regained access to the premises in August 2021.
Between October 2019 and February 2021, the Lethbridge Police Service responded to 33 incidents at the property.
A Lethbridge police search warrant in June 2020 turned up a small amount of fentanyl, along with drug paraphernalia and several pieces of stolen identification.
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