Bi-provincial drug raid results in 14 arrests

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January 20, 2015 9:02 AM

Self-described "home cook" Michele Charles Gustafson is teaching a series of cooking classes at the Harvest to Home market. Gustafson and her assistant Curtis Douglas greet the participants at the first of three cooking classes. - Josef Jacobson Photos

A major drug sweep across Saskatchewan and Alberta on Jan. 14 led to the arrests of 14 individuals, all of which are members or affiliates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club or their “puppet” club The Fallen Saints.

The operation, called Project Forseti, is being conducted by the Integrated Organized Crime Unit – North (IOC-North) and involves members of the RCMP and Saskatchewan Police Service. Investigations are still ongoing.

At a press conference on Jan. 15 at the Saskatoon Police Headquarters, Donovan Fisher, officer in charge of the IOC, said, “As a result of these search warrants, 14 adults were charged (with) offences related to drug trafficking, weapons possession, assault and proceeds of crime.”

The seizure resulted in 5.4 kilograms of methamphetamine; 2.6 kg of cocaine; 358 fentanyl pills; 507 grams of heroin; 140 pounds of marijuana; 456 dilaudid pills; and 454 grams of hashish being removed from the street.

Also seized were approximately 200 firearms, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, four ballistic vests, one conducted energy weapon, roughly $100,000 cash gained as the proceeds of crime and seven vehicles were seized as offence related property. Fisher said the advantages to a joint approach in policing are “many,” as more than 100 officers in both provinces participated in the 13 month operation.

It was also found that the fentanyl found during the sweep is of the same chemical composition of ones that were responsible for several recent deaths in the area.

“We cannot say at this time if it came from the batch that was taken by the three young men that recently died, but we are comfortable in saying that they are very similar,” said Jerome Engele of the Investigative Support Section. “Project Forseti has been one of the most significant in our city and our province. This investigation continues with more charges and arrests in the near future.”

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