Alberta RCMP making dents in drug trafficking
By Canadian Press
By Canadian Press
Through tips from the public and routine traffic checks, RCMP have made close to a dozen record-breaking drug busts in Alberta alone. Drug-related offences have been on a steady incline since 2015, and the trafficking of methamphetamine (known as meth) is sky-rocketing. According to Statistics Canada, the last report, the rate of meth trafficking rose 17 percent in 2019, and the opioid offences from 2018 to 2019 increased a whopping 48 percent. The cooperation from the various RCMP detachments and ALERT has been making successful headway in slowing down major crime rings and stopping massive amounts of drugs from entering our province and hitting the streets.
The latest drug bust, which is now Canada’s largest land border crossing bust, occurred at the Coutts, Alberta port of entry from the United States. The Canada Border Services Agency officers inspected the cargo of a semi-truck hauling produce and discovered meth with a $28.5 million value, which equates to 2.28 million doses. Another major bust that involved ALERT and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency led to the seizure of $19.5 million worth of fentanyl and cocaine. The shipment from Texas to Alberta was intercepted, resulting in seven arrests. The one woman, also from Calgary, was arrested in Texas, where she remains incarcerated. In a separate incident, seven were arrested in what ALERT calls an international crime network, resulting in more than half-million pills plus $4.5 million in cash. Last February, another drug trafficking seizure yielded Alberta RCMP $10 million worth in meth and cocaine. A drug trafficking ring from B.C. to Edmonton was exposed, and over $1 million in cocaine and meth were confiscated. Again, RCMP stopped half-million worth of meth and cocaine in January 2020 from hitting the streets. The following month, a drug shipment of $4.69 million in cocaine and $4.7 million in meth from Ontario was stopped by RCMP in Drumheller. Another $759,000 drug shipment originating out of Quebec was intercepted between Calgary and Edmonton last April. In December 2020, the Edmonton RCMP confiscated another $1.3 million in meth, which is 45,000 doses.
These busts are only some of the significant successes ALERT, and the Alberta RCMP have made in the past year. There have been many more pegged at $1 million or less. In the last two years, the predominant drugs coming into the province have been meth, cocaine/crack cocaine, and fentanyl trailing behind. RCMP reports indicate meth, in particular, is rampant as it’s more readily available, easy to make and costs far less than fentanyl. In an RCMP statement from two years ago, the drug enforcement member indicated a tenth of a gram of meth costs approximately $5 to $10 versus $40 to $60 for a single hit of fentanyl. The continued support from the public who report suspicious drug activity all helps the RCMP to reduce the number of drugs being trafficked in the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2021.