The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) has seized more than $2 million worth of drugs and cash in Red Deer — the largest seizure in the city’s history since 2019.
The organized crime team in Red Deer made the seizure on Oct. 19 after receiving intelligence prompting the investigation. Insp. Brad Lundeen with ALERT said he could not get into the specifics of what prompted the investigation but said the intelligence was “generated from the community.”
Lundeen said the investigation was relatively short and resulted in an arrest following ALERT’s search of a residence in the north side of the city with the assistance of the Red Deer RCMP who helped with the execution of a search warrant.
The seizure included 6.8 kg of fentanyl, 6.5 kg of methamphetamine, 0.4 kg of cocaine, 1.9 L of GHB and $17,286 in cash with a total estimated value of $2.2 million.
“Any wholesale volume seizure — especially fentanyl — is cause of concern for police and the community. In Alberta alone there have been approximately 1,100 deaths associated to toxic drug overdose,” Lundeen said.
“We’re seeing seizures with methamphetamine and fentanyl together and I’m just talking about commodities itself, he said. Ten years ago “we would not see that” large commodities of different drugs.
In addition to the large quantities of substances, ALERT seized nine firearms, including two handguns, four rifles and three shotguns. Eight of the firearms were loaded and several others were “sawed off, had their serial numbers defaced, or previously reported stolen,” said a news release from ALERT.
“ALERT will also be pursuing civil forfeiture against seized cash, silver bars, collectable coins, and three high-end electric scooters. The scooters were allegedly being used to facilitate the accused’s drug trafficking operations,” ALERT said.
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Delmond Kroetsch, 43, has been charged and was arrested shortly after investigators witnessed a suspected drug deal that took place in the downtown area. Kroetsch’s home was searched following his arrest.
He was charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime and 28 firearms-related offences. He is in custody and scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 4.
Prior to this, Red Deer’s largest drug seizure was in March 2019 when RCMP seized 1.6 kilograms of cocaine, 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl and 2.6 kilograms of methamphetamine, among other drugs.
Edmonton Police Service seized an estimated $ 1.8 million worth of cocaine after a traffic stop on Oct. 27 by the gang unit. Police seized 40.5 kg of cocaine. The largest cocaine seizure prior to October was 28 kg in August 2013.
Randhir Singh Gill, 40, is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was expected to appear in court on Nov. 8.
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).
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