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Calgary police charge man with trafficking fake transit passes

Calgary police have charged a man with trafficking fake Calgary transit passes. Calgary police hand-out photo/CPS

Calgary police have charged a man after a lengthy investigation led to the discovery of more than $1 million in fake transit passes.

The year-long investigation involved nine search warrants and eventually led to arrest of a 31-year-old Calgary man.

The police investigation started on June 28, 2017, when Calgary Transit’s peace officers noticed an increasing number of high-quality, forged UPASS stickers.

UPASS stickers are transit passes available only to post-secondary students.

Calgary police have charged a man with trafficking fake Calgary transit passes. Calgary police hand-out photo/CPS

Officers located the stickers online and identified a suspect, who used fake names, different phone numbers and multiple ads to conceal who he was.

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A package of 3,300 fake stickers — worth $1.3 million to Calgary Transit — was then intercepted by Canadian Border Services Agency in January 2018.

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David Philip Smerd, 31, of Calgary, is charged with one count each of making forged documents, fraud over $5,000 and uttering forged documents.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 10.

— With files from Global News’ Spencer Gallichan-Lowe

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