WINNIPEG – Police have taken the unusual step of identifying by name a Winnipeg street gang targeted in an investigation.
In a news release Friday, police said four suspects were arrested during a drug investigation “regarding the African Mafia Street Gang” August 27th at a home in the 300 block of Regent Avenue West.
The investigation began in July, police said.
The existence of street gangs like the African Mafia and others is no secret. There are about 10 street gangs in Winnipeg, but police rarely identify them by name.
“It’s not common,”, said Cst. Jason Michalyshen. “(Police) don’t want to provide notoriety to them. But in this case investigators wanted this particular street gang acknowledged,” Michalyshen said. He couldn’t say why.
Police say the African Mafia Street Gang has approximately 85 members and associates across Canada and have been existing in Winnipeg since 2005. Officers say 60-70 are based in Winnipeg, and recruit members from the African immigrant community: young people are tempted by the prospect of easy money trafficking mainly crack cocaine, police say.
In the Regent Avenue West raid, officers arrested two men, Ahmed Eyale, 23, and Mourad Mohamed, 20. Two women were also arrested, Sabrin Mahmue Jemei, 21, and Ruta Tesfalidet, 24. All are residents of Winnipeg, police say. They face several drug related charges.
Officers say the seized drugs and cash after executing a search warrant on the Regent Avenue West residence:
• 6 ounces of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $10,800.00
• 3 ounces of marihuana with an estimated street value of $840.00
• 14 rocks of crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $280.00
• $2275.00 in Canadian currency
• $55.00 in American currency
All four suspects remain in custody.