Five people face 30 charges after a multi-agency drug trafficking investigation found large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in three different jurisdictions.
In December 2017, Red Deer RCMP began a trafficking investigation, following up on an anonymous tip about trafficking of cocaine. The investigation soon expanded to involve Red Deer RCMP and the Calgary Police Service.
On Apr. 28, Lake Louise RCMP stopped a truck that was driving suspiciously and determined the driver was breaching parole by being in the region without permission from his parole officer. RCMP arrested the male driver and released the two female passengers, pending further investigation, and impounded the truck.
The parole violation led to a drug investigation, seizing what police call “significant amounts” of cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy, smaller amounts of other drugs and items consistent with drug trafficking. Lake Louise RCMP also connected with the drug trafficking investigation of Red Deer RCMP.
An auto theft officer with the RCMP Serious Crimes south unit determined the impounded truck had a fake VIN and was reported stolen from Fort MacLeod.
William Laurin Bowden, 43, is charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance, one count of possession of stolen property over $5,000 and one Traffic Safety Act charge. At the time of the arrest, Bowden’s parole was revoked and he was remanded to appear in court in Canmore on September 19.
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Bowden, a former member of Manitoba Hell’s Angels also known as “Billy,” has a lengthy criminal history and has been sentenced to multiple prison terms. In 2012, Bowden was arrested as a result of the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force’s seven-month investigation called Project Deplete, which netted nearly $1-million in drugs and charges against 13 people.
Bowden lived in Red Deer for several months and now resides in Calgary.
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While Bowden didn’t directly come into previous contact with Red Deer RCMP, Augstman had previous knowledge of Bowden, telling Global News, “I just knew of him from media reports when I lived in Manitoba.”
Augstman was the primary investigator on the file.
“This investigation followed a network of drug trafficking activity between Calgary, Red Deer and the corridor to Lake Louise, with the same players believed to be travelling back and forth between these locations, replenishing their drug supplies and trafficking those drugs throughout central Alberta,” Sgt. Robert Schultz said in a statement.
Red Deer RCMP also collaborated with the Calgary Police Service regarding suspected drug movement between the two cities.
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On July 17, Red Deer RCMP’s drug unit executed a search warrant at a home in Red Deer’s Highland Green neighbourhood, seizing 150 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of methamphetamine, and cash as proceeds of crime. Red Deer RCMP also arrested and charged three individuals, all due to appear in court in Red Deer on August 23 and September 20 for election and plea.
Rico Small, 29, is charged with three counts of trafficking, two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime.
Jeremy Blackman, 31, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Kareem Lumea Cummings, 25, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of the proceeds of crime, two counts of failure to comply with court-imposed conditions, and one count of failure to comply with probation. In February 2018, Cummings turned himself in to Red Deer RCMP after being wanted on outstanding warrants connected to a January firearms incident in which shots were fired and bullets struck homes and vehicles.
“Drug trafficking has severe impacts on all our communities in terms of increased violence and property crime as well as the many social harms,” Sgt. Schultz said in a statement. “We’re pleased to have put another significant dent in drug trafficking operations across central Alberta thanks to this excellent collaboration with our law enforcement partners.”
On July 27, Calgary police also laid charges against one of the female passengers in the stolen truck of the Lake Louise traffic stop and arrest. Police believe she is connected with the drug trade in Calgary and Red Deer, along with her male companion, and is wanted on warrants. Calgary police are working to locate her.
Brandy Ross, 32, is charged with eight counts of trafficking a controlled substance and six counts of possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000, and is wanted on warrants in connection to the charges. Ross is described as 5’3” tall with a thin build, long, bright red hair and green eyes.
Anyone with information on Brandy Ross’ location is asked to call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or by contacting Crime Stoppers, referring to case #18037310/5168.