Police have charged members of an outlaw motorcycle group in central Alberta with drug trafficking.
The two-year investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) looked into allegations of organized crime and drug trafficking by the Syndicate motorcycle club in Red Deer, Alta.
In a Friday news release, ALERT explained that Syndicate is a support club of the Hells Angels.
“Support clubs are typically utilized to carry out lower-level dirty work for the Hells Angels, such as drug trafficking and expanding territory to secondary markets,” ALERT stated.
Three homes in Red Deer were searched by police as part of the investigation and the following items were seized:
- Three kilograms of cocaine
- Nine kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent
- 2.8 kilograms of cannabis
- A handgun
- An SKS rifle
- Four vehicles (motorcycles)
- $78,794 cash proceeds of crime
In total, an estimated $350,000 worth of drugs was seized.
Insp. Sean Boser said the potency of the cocaine seized varied. One brick was described as “almost pure” cocaine, according to test results, while another was about 30 per cent pure.
The dealers will use a buffing agent to mix into the cocaine so the pure cocaine will stretch further, increasing their profits, he said.
Boser also said the seizures made will have a “substantial impact on this group’s ability to operate.”
He added it’s impossible to know where each sale happened, but said it’s safe to say that the drugs were sold in and around the Red Deer.
ALERT alleges that members of the club were involved in an “extensive drug trafficking network” that operated in the Red Deer area.
“Casey Chapin, 33, and Joel Befus, 32, are both full-patch members of the support club and have been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, along with a range of other offences,” ALERT stated. “Bailey Chapin, a 29-year-old woman, was also charged.”
Both Casey and Bailey Chapin were released on bail after their initial court appearances. Befus was also released on bail with numerous conditions.
At any time, Boser said about 30 investigators were working on the “consuming” investigation.
Anyone who suspects drug or gang activity in their community is asked to report it by calling their call local police, or contacting Crime Stoppers.