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Southern Alberta drug operation targets meth sales, results in 8 arrests

Eight people were arrested in connection with an ALERT drug trafficking investigation that took place in southeastern Alberta. Searches were conducted in Medicine Hat and Tilley, Alta.
Eight people were arrested in connection with an ALERT drug trafficking investigation that took place in southeastern Alberta. Searches were conducted in Medicine Hat and Tilley, Alta. ALERT Medicine Hat

A handgun, rifle, ammunition, cocaine and methamphetamine were seized during two searches conducted in southeast Alberta, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) said Tuesday.

Eight people have been arrested after the warrants were executed in Medicine Hat and a rural residence in Tilley. Tilley is about 90 kilometres northwest of Medicine Hat.

One suspect from Saskatchewan had been the subject of a country-wide warrant.

A vehicle was also searched in Medicine Hat that contained a large amount of meth and the handgun.

In total, ALERT seized the following:

• 44-caliber handgun
• 22-caliber rifle
• Various rounds of ammunition
• 57 grams of methamphetamine
• 14 grams of cocaine
• 34 cartons of contraband cigarettes
• $3,550 cash proceeds of crime

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ALERT began its investigation in October, after receiving information about drug trafficking in the area.

“Methamphetamine has been a significant concern in our community and we are committed to working with our partner agencies to disrupt its illicit sale,” Staff Sgt. Cory Both said in a statement.

Twenty charges have been laid against three people so far.

Justin Crawford, 34, of Medicine Hat, faces charges including possession for the purpose of trafficking, unauthorized possession of a firearm and breach of recognizance. He was previously arrested in an October 2016 ALERT meth trafficking investigation.

Rodney McNabb, 39, of Saskatchewan, was charged with “an outstanding Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at-large,” ALERT said.

Alan Dressel, 40, of Tilley, faces charges including unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of proceeds of crime, and breach of recognizance (x 2).

Dressel’s breach charges are in relation to an August 2016 ALERT investigation resulting in the seizure of $80,000 worth of drugs.

The other five suspects were arrested but have yet to be formally charged.