Two large RCMP drug seizures on southern Alberta roads

Calgary, AB – Over the past week, two routine traffic safety vehicle stops on southern Alberta roads resulted in the seizure of a significant amount of illegal drugs that police believe were destined for communities in this province and in Ontario.

“More and more, we are seeing routine traffic safety stops result in drug seizures. This tells us that organized crime groups are very active in Alberta and beyond,” said Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan, Commanding Officer Alberta RCMP. “These criminals prey on the young and the vulnerable so anything that disrupts their activity does have a direct impact on public health and safety.”

On November 21, 2014 Brooks RCMP officers were conducting traffic safety enforcement on Highway 1 near Brooks, Alberta. A transport truck and trailer was stopped for a violation under the Traffic Safety Act.  The officer noticed the doors to the trailer were not sealed properly. Upon further inspection of the vehicle, the officer located 350 pounds of marihuana concealed within the shipment. The marihuana originated in British Columbia and was destined to Ontario. The matter is still under investigation by the Brooks RCMP with the assistance of the RCMP Serious and Organized Crime Section in Calgary (FSOC). To date, no charges have been laid in this matter.

On November 17, 2014, the RCMP was conducting a high-volume traffic safety initiative on the Trans Canada Highway, west of Calgary, which resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of the narcotic fentanyl (fake Oxycontin) from a vehicle after it was stopped by police for speeding. During the course of his interactions with the RCMP, the driver was arrested for drug possession. Upon searching the suspect’s vehicle RCMP officers located a hidden compartment which contained 60,000 tablets of the Fentanyl.

Police believe the pills originated in Canada and were manufactured illegally for distribution at the street level. Fentanyl is painkiller that is available by prescription only in Canada. When used without medical supervision, it can be highly addictive. Fake Fentanyl is often sold illegally as Oxycontin to illicit drug users. Illegally manufactured drugs present significant health risks. Fake Oxycontin is reported to have contributed to several deaths in Canada. RCMP is reminding consumers against using any pharmaceuticals that were not prescribed by a medical doctor.

Pasang Sherpa, age 27, of Calgary was scheduled to appear in court November 26, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. to speak to criminal charges related to the contraband pill seizure.