Maskwacis, Alberta – In June 2021, members of the Maskwacis General Investigation Section (GIS) became aware through criminal intelligence of illegal trafficking of substances into the four communities that make up Maskwacis. In the following months, Maskwacis GIS would conduct a complete and thorough investigation focusing on disrupting and dismantling the trafficking network.
Between Tuesday, May 17, 2022, and Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Maskwacis GIS executed six search warrants in a joint operation with the Maskwacis General Duty Members, the Maskwacis Community Policing (CPVS) unit, the Wetaskiwin GIS, the Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit (CRU), the Central Alberta District GIS, and the Edmonton Police Service. These warrants were executed at a residence on the Ermineskin Cree Nation along with two residences, and a storage locker within the City of Edmonton, and finally two vehicles associated to the illegal trafficking network.
As a result, police located and seized the following items:
· 50,000 Illicit cigarettes, valued at $44,000
· 17lbs of illegal Cannabis, with a street value of $75,000
· 1200 unidentified pills
· 1 liter of Cannabis resin
· $38,000 in cash proceeds
The seizure is valued at $160,000. The investigation is still ongoing, and more charges are pending.
“This was a significant seizure of illegal substances, and without the help of our RCMP partners and the Edmonton Police Service this wouldn’t have been possible; a big thank you them.” says Cst. Guillaume Wilson of the Maskwacis RCMP. “We will continue working on identifying and arresting persons engaged trafficking illegal substances on the four nations of Maskwacis. We encourage the residents in our community to report any illegal activity to police and assist us in disrupting criminal groups by calling the detachment, speaking to an officer, or providing tips through crime stoppers.”
Salih Khoshnaw a 32-year-old male from the City of Edmonton was charged with the following Criminal Code of Canada offences:
· Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000
· Possession of unstamped tobacco products for the purpose of selling
· Fraud over $5,000
Khoshnaw also faces one count of unlawfully sell tobacco product that was not stamped, contrary to the Excise Act of Canada.
Leslie Dennehy a 35-year-old male from the City of Edmonton was charged with the following Cannabis Act offences:
· Possess cannabis for the purpose of distribution
· Possess cannabis for the purpose of selling
Dennehy also faces one count of Unauthorized possession of a weapon, under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Both Khoshnaw and Dennehy were held for bail hearings, and released by a Justice of the Peace with conditions. Khoshnaw is scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022, at 8:15 a.m., and Dennehy is scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on Friday, June 10th, 2022 at 8:15 a.m.
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