WATCH ABOVE: ASIRT has laid drug trafficking charges against two Edmonton police officers. Executive Director Susan Hughson addresses the media in Edmonton.
EDMONTON — After an extensive investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), two members of the Edmonton Police Service have been arrested and charged with trafficking of a controlled substance.
“Two members have been arrested for offences in relation to trafficking in a controlled substance,” said ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson.
The charges come after an ASIRT investigation into the trafficking of anabolic steroids within the EPS.
Sgt. Greg Lewis, a 10-year member, has been charged with three counts of trafficking a controlled substance.
It is alleged that between 2007 and 2013, Lewis participated in the trafficking stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. Lewis has also been charged with trafficking testosterone, between 2008 and 2009, also considered an anabolic steroid. Lastly, he has been charged with trafficking Methyl-1-Testosterone, another anabolic steroid.
Cst. Darren French, a 25-year member, has been charged with one count of trafficking.
It is alleged that between 2007 and 2008 he engaged in the trafficking stanozolol.
“Anabolic steroids have a legitimate medical purpose and possession of these substances is not a criminal offence,” explained Hughson.
“The illegal trafficking of these substances is a criminal offence.”
This ASIRT investigation started April of 2013 when the Edmonton Police Service received information that between 2006 and 2010 one EPS police officer sold anabolic steroids to other officers of the police service.
WATCH: Two Edmonton police officers have been charged with trafficking steroids. Eric Szeto is at EPS headquarters with more.
“This was an extremely complex and sensitive investigation that involved numerous witnesses, many of whom were police officers.”
The EPS said both officers have been relieved from duty without pay.
“Edmontonians expect their police officers to be honest and ethical and to answer to a higher standard,” said police chief Rod Knecht. “Behaviour contrary to these expectations brings reputational damage to your police service and violates the public trust.”
ASIRT notes there is no evidence to suggest that the steroid trafficking was a commercial operation or that it was done for commercial gain. The executive director of ASIRT said all alleged trafficking happened within force, and that none made its way onto the street.
“This investigation focused on a core group of individuals,” said Hughson.
“Although there is a possibility that the problem of trafficking in steroids extended beyond this group, there is no evidence to support the inference that this is a systemic or pervasive problem within the Edmonton Police Service.”
As a result of the ASIRT investigation, six additional police officers were transferred out of their current positions by the police chief on Friday.
“We have six officers that were involved in this outside the two that have been charged criminally for trafficking,” said Knecht, “six potentially purchased.”
“Those six have been removed from their current duties and placed on other duties.”
The chief does not believe the issue is widespread.
“I believe, based on the information I have currently, that this particular issue was confined to a small group of individuals and their associates.”
The police service will be conducting an internal investigation into the trafficking allegations as well as any officer who is alleged to have obtained and/or used steroids.
The two officers will appear before court April 10.
ASIRT will not be providing any further information in relation to this case as it is now before the courts.
WATCH: Police Chief Rod Knecht addresses the media Friday afternoon