Project Deception disrupts interprovincial drug network; “Over half a million dollars’ in drugs and cash have been seized”

Lloydminster, Alberta – Over half a million dollars’ in drugs and cash have been seized following an interprovincial joint forces investigation that originated in Lloydminster.

Project Deception is an ongoing investigation led by ALERT Lloydminster’s organized crime and gang team in partnership with Lloydminster RCMP, British Columbia’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC), and RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC).

The investigation began in May 2021 following an initial drug seizure in Lloydminster, as part of a joint endeavor from ALERT and Lloydminster General Investigation Section (GIS). From there, ALERT launched Project Deception and sought to work up the drug supply line and uproot the Edmonton and Kelowna-based suppliers.

Drug seizures were staggered over the course of the investigation and took place in Lloydminster, Edmonton, Springbrook, Alta., Kelowna, B.C. and Vernon, B.C. On June 1, 2022 multiple homes were also searched.

The drugs alone have an estimated street value of $571,000 and the totality of seized items included:

Two handguns with ammunition;

3,600 grams of cocaine;

3,055 grams of suspected buffing agents;

1,223 grams of methamphetamine;

275 grams of suspected fentanyl;

$101,888 cash; and

$147,872 in restrained assets, including jewelry.

Project Deception remains ongoing as investigators are preparing reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel. A number of suspects from both provinces have been identified.

Project Deception relied on the assistance of a number of police agencies and specialized units, including: CFSEU-Kelowna, RCMP FSOC, Edmonton Police Service, Kelowna RCMP, Vernon RCMP, and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

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.

“Drug trafficking doesn’t occur in isolation. It is deep-rooted and presents a multitude of threats that ultimately impact many communities. The tenacity exhibited by our Lloydminster team showcases the success of ALERT’s integrated model and the benefits of policing partnerships across borders to disrupt complex criminal networks.” – Supt. Marc Cochlin, ALERT Chief Executive Officer

“Working with our partners in ALERT is critical to both coordinated intelligence sharing and significantly amplifying enforcement efforts against those involved in organized crime. Law enforcement is well aware that those individuals and groups who engage in drug trafficking and violent criminal activities have no regard for Provincial borders. CFSEU-BC is committed to working closely with our partners across Canada to ensure that we are enhancing public safety in British Columbia; the arrests and charges stemming from this ALERT investigation represent a significant enforcement success for BC, Alberta and Canada.” – Supt. Duncan Pound, CFSEU-BC, Deputy Operations Officer

“As we continue our fight against money laundering and drug trafficking, collaboration between policing partners is critical, as organized crime knows no borders. By adding Integrated Money Laundering Investigative Team support to ALERT’s investigation, we were able to help disrupt the operations of this inter-provincial crime group.” – Supt. Brent Taylor, BC RCMP FSOC Financial Integrity program

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