Outlaw bikers, gang members among hundreds arrested by ALERT in 2015

Four people were charged after an Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams raid in north Edmonton uncovered eight high-powered firearms and more than $100,000 worth of drugs. Tom Vernon, Global News

EDMONTON — Nearly 500 people were arrested and more than $36 million worth of drugs and proceeds of crime were taken off Alberta streets in 2015 by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.

In the past year, ALERT said members arrested 485 people, including sex offenders, gang members, outlaw bikers and drug cartel members. Those people were charged with 2,213 criminal offences related to drug trafficking, child exploitation, organized crime, firearms, violent incidents and luring, ALERT said in a media release.

READ MORE: 8 Albertans arrested in child porn bust

Drugs are one of the main commodities of organized crime, according to ALERT. Members said they seized $30.23 million worth of drugs in 2015, including 21,000 fentanyl pills.

An estimated $15 million worth of cocaine was seized in Alberta, ALERT said, accounting for the highest dollar value of ALERT’s drug seizures. That amounts to more than 151 kilograms.

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READ MORE: ALERT’s largest drug seizures of 2015

When it comes to guns, ALERT said 126 were taken off the streets last year, including 21 handguns, 81 long rifles and 24 shotguns.

ALERT works with other law enforcement agencies, governments, corrections and universities on organized and serious crime files.

ALERT conducted investigations in 124 communities in Alberta and neighbouring provinces in 2015.

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