Three charged in drug trafficking network operation: Maskwacis RCMP

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After a lengthy investigation by Maskwacis RCMP, one man and two women are facing a series of drug-trafficking charges related to the investigation of a drug trafficking network operation.

On May 7, a search warrant was issued and executed for Montana First Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation and Ponoka in regards to a drug trafficking investigation in 2023, following concerns brought forward from community members of Montana First Nation, police said in a Thursday news release.

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The investigation led to the discovery of a drug trafficking network operating in Montana First Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin.

With the assistance of Ponoka, Wetaskwin, and Red Deer RCMP as well as Edmonton ALERT officers, the search warrants and arrests were executed resulting in the seizure of 287 grams of cocaine, $16,710 in cash, 1.2 kilograms of a buffing agent and a shotgun with ammunition.

“This is an example of the RCMP’s dedication to protecting and serving the people of Maskwacis.” said Maskwacis RCMP Staff Sgt. Richard McKay in the release.

“We care about the issues in these communities and are doing everything we can to stop the flow of drugs coming in. We work alongside community leaders to ensure this type of criminality does not gain a foothold in Maskwacis.”

Jackie Whitehead, 35, of Ermineskin Cree Nation is charged with eight counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, unsafe storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon of a firearm in a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon with a tampered serial number, possession of a weapon obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of proceeds of a crime.

Vijay Curry, 42, of Montana First Nation is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Candace Cutarm, 39, of Ermineskin Cree Nation is charged with five counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

All three were released from custody and scheduled to appear in Ponoka court on June 21.

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