Eleven people allegedly were part of a drug trafficking network in Edmonton and planning to smuggle fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine into the prison system, police say.
The group faces a total of 60 charges and consists of Edmonton, St. Albert and Morinville residents, as well as current inmates.
The provincial taskforce that deals with some of Alberta's most serious and organized crime, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), says the ring trafficked drugs in the capital region and "conspired to smuggle drugs into the prison system and had established connections to Bowden Institution."
The investigation, called Project Evolve, began in June 2019.
When the nearly dozen people were arrested Dec. 17, two were incarcerated at the medium security prison in Innisfail in central Alberta.
Police seized 35 grams of fentanyl, 88 grams of methamphetamine, 620 grams of cocaine, 1,341 grams of a cocaine buffing agent, 1,745 grams of cannabis, a handgun with a missing serial number, and more than $200,000 in cash.
“This was a very well-organized, well-coordinated group. Their drug activities jeopardized community safety and hurt communities big and small,” said Staff Sgt. Blayne Eliuk, ALERT Edmonton.
"By introducing drugs into the prison system, this substantially put the health and safety of not only inmates, but also corrections staff and officers, at risk.”
Those charged are:
- David Klassen, a 31-year-old man, currently incarcerated;
- Nicolas Moores, a 29-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Garreth Curry-McCallum, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Jesse Riedlhuber, a 23-year-old man from Morinville;
- Brendan Baer, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Tyler Kemps, a 25-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Nolan Arndt, a 24-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Tyler Willimont, a 24-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Jessa Brianne Ivicak, a 23-year-old woman from Edmonton;
- Kolby Gordon, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert; and
- Chayce Anthony Krause, a 26-year-old man, currently incarcerated.