(Photo: Some of the vehicles seized by ALERT investigators, believed to be obtained through the proceeds of crime. June 9, 2015. Crystal Laderas/MORNING REPORTER).
Police are showing off their news rides, six high end vehicles believed to be property obtained by dirty money. Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams posed in front of the lifted trucks, a convertible, a speed boat, firearms and of more than $1 million worth of drugs.
“In order to address these complex organized crime groups, a multi-faceted police response is required. An investigation such as this speaks to ALERT’s success in bringing together the province’s most sophisticated policing resources to dismantle organized crime,” said ALERT Insp. Chad Coles.
Seven search warrants were executed in Fort McMurray on June 3 to conclude a two-year investigation of a cocaine and fentanyl drug trafficking operation. Five homes, a Chateau Nova Hotel room and a local business on Signal Road were searched as police targeted 34-year-old Patrick Felix and 31-year-old Jason Mulley. The two are the alleged ringleaders of the network that reached Edmonton, Calgary and B.C.
“What is more important is the impact of removing these drugs and guns from the streets, and to minimize the potential harm to community,” says Insp. Mark Hancock. “It means that we are safer. The persons who may have been harmed as a result of the callous actions of organized crime will not suffer.”
After almost a week of sorting through the evidence, police say 7.2 kilograms of cocaine was seized in total. Evidence also includes 2,908 fentanyl pills, 26.3 kilograms of marijuana, 198 grams of magic mushrooms, a loaded rifle with prohibited magazine and a shotgun. Officers also counted $23,150 in cash from the alleged trade and supply dealers. Police say after further investigation, they’ll explore civil forfeiture options for the vehicles.
Wood Buffalo RCMP and ALERT are calling it a successful seizure that will make a big impact on trafficking in Fort McMurray. Mulley is charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine and three counts of trafficking cocaine. Felix is charged with six counts of trafficking cocaine, seven counts of trafficking fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic cocaine and conspiracy to traffic fentanyl. Mandy Gauvreau, (28) Alexander Jurich (48) Rachel Jurich (47)and Spencer Brown ( 22) are also facing charges. ALERT says most of the Fort McMurray residents have been released on bail, while 22-year-old Paul Ohelo is still wanted.