Police released the names of two men charged in an investigation they said has put a “significant dent in an organized crime trafficking operation” in Calgary and Red Deer Monday.
The operation resulted in the seizure of nine guns, 12,159 rounds of ammunition, $14,000 in cash, nearly 400 grams of drugs and body armour after executing search warrants in both cities, police said Friday. An apartment at 475 Lancaster Drive in Red Deer; two rooms in a hotel in Gasoline Alley, Red Deer County, a residence located in the 0-100 block of Silverado Creek Crescent S.W., Calgary, and a residence located in the 14000 block of 6 Street S.W., Calgary were the locations that were searched.
“The sheer number of weapons and ammunition discovered during this operation is deeply concerning,” Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the Calgary Police Service Drug Unit said in a Monday statement. “It speaks to the level of violence these groups are willing to go to, putting the public at significant risk. More than ever before, we must work together to put a stop to drug activity and the associated violence it brings.”
Police also conducted what they called a high-risk takedown in Calgary after suspects tried to rob a pawn shop Jan. 5 at 4108 Macleod Trail South, and then fled in a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was eventually stopped in the 100 block of Silverado Creek Crescent S.W.
The operation began in March after a tip to Calgary police about drug activity with ties to the Red Deer area. Red Deer RCMP began its own investigation in October, and the two services soon learned they were investigating the same suspects. Police said two of the suspects were “extremely active in drug trafficking and violent crimes in the Red Deer area” between October and December.
The forces combined efforts in November with help from Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).
Shawn Barry Steier, 30, of Red Deer, faces numerous charges including robbery, pointing a firearm, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and knowing possession of an unlicensed weapon.
Wayant Donald Chapin, 37, of Calgary, faces charges including robbery, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of an unlicensed weapon, possession of cocaine and crystal meth for the purpose of trafficking, possession of body armor without a valid permit, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Both men are set to appear in court Jan. 29.
Police said charges are also pending against a 55-year-old Red Deer woman.
“Drug traffickers and other criminals cross jurisdictions all the time, so inter-agency collaboration is crucial to disrupting their operations,” Red Deer RCMP Sgt. Eric McKenzie said in a statement. “The drug trade fuels organized crime. It breeds violent crimes such as home invasions and robberies, as well as property crimes and vehicle theft. We will continue to hammer at drug trafficking operations, enforce laws against the drug trade, and put these violent offenders before the courts.”
Police allege the organized crime group has ties to British Columbia.
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