EDMONTON – ALERT has arrested four members and four associates of the Drayton Valley chapter of the Warlocks outlaw motorcycle club.
“I really do believe that this is going to seriously affect this group,” said ALERT Insp. Darcy Strang, “taking this amount of fire power away from them, taking the drugs away, letting them know that we’re after them.”
In total, the eight people are facing 77 drug and weapons related charges.
“Any gun is dangerous, but in the hands of people who may use them for criminal activity, they’re a potential danger to the public,” explained Strang.
The arrests come after an investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).
Eight firearms, other weapons, and drugs were seized.
“They were seized in a residential home, in a neighbourhood that could have been yours or mine,” said Strang.
A search warrant was executed at a Drayton Valley home on March 21. Investigators seized:
– Six rifles, two of which are prohibited
– A loaded handgun
– 273 rounds of ammunition
– More than 1 kilogram of marijuana
– More than 200 prescription pills
– $6,150 cash
“Other weapons included knives, brass knuckles, air soft guns that are made to look like real guns,” said Strang.
Eight people have been arrested, including Warlocks members Sheldon King, 31, Rocky Buzzell, 49, Luke Bushell, 22, and Dean McKnight, 41, along with Warlocks associates Elizabeth McKnight, 46, Emanuel Lapointe, 42, Richard Williams, 57, and Blair MacNeil, 32.
“Biker gangs are actually a national priority deemed by the RCMP and also deemed by our agency here,” said Strang.
“We’ve noticed a significant increase in Alberta in relation to the OMG [outlaw motorcycle gangs] and therefore we decided to target them to eliminate some of the issues that they may create.”
“We’re definitely very encouraged with what’s going on within the RCMP and ALERT system,” said Drayton Valley Deputy Mayor Nicole Nadeau.
“We’re very clear that we want that pressure added, as a community.”
“That message is very clear: that element is not welcome in our community.”
She recognizes Drayton Valley is not alone in the battle.
“It is new in our community but we are not unique in that. We certainly know other resource communities are kind of developing this situation. No, we are just being very vigilant in how we have addressed this as a community.”
Strang explained that the Warlocks is a larger group that operates in the United States and first appeared in Alberta in Nov. 2010.
The ALERT inspector thanked the mayor of Drayton Valley for his support in this project.
“Drayton Valley is encouraged by the recent progress shown by law enforcement in addressing the problems which outlaw motorcycle gangs have brought to our community,” said Drayton Valley Mayor Glenn McLean.
“Together with law enforcement and other agencies, Drayton Valley is united in our commitment to maintain and grow a healthy community – one in which the criminal element is not welcome.”
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