Law enforcement officials say a fentanyl seizure in Calgary last year is believed to be the largest Canada has ever seen.
The drugs were discovered as a part of a two-year investigation between the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (U.S. DEA) dubbed Project Coyote.
The fentanyl, which ALERT said would be valued in the range of $4 million to $6 million, included 250,000 pills, which were found in a Calgary apartment on Feb. 16, 2018.
Along with fentanyl, Project Coyote also saw officers in Texas intercept an 81-kilogram shipment of cocaine they believe was headed for Canada.
ALERT said that in total, $15 million in drugs was seized during Project Coyote, including five kilograms of methamphetamine and 626 methamphetamine and ecstasy pills. In addition, $4.5 million in cash and assets and 13 firearms were confiscated.
In a Thursday news conference, officials said the aim of Project Coyote was to dismantle major drug supply lines that were believed to be responsible for the importation of cocaine and fentanyl into Alberta.
According to ALERT, investigators uncovered an alleged cocaine importation scheme and distribution network.
“Project Coyote was a significant investigation with very high stakes,” Insp. Shawn Wallace said. “From the onset of the investigation, it became apparent we were dealing with high-level targets importing millions of dollars worth of harmful drugs into the province.”
In total, over 30 search warrants were executed over the course of the investigation, with the most recent arrest taking place on Oct. 3.
“Never in my 22-year policing career have I experience an investigation that rivaled this type of complexity and co-ordination,” Wallace said.
Seven people are currently facing 77 criminal charges, including:
- Warren Lowe, 53, from Calgary
- Elizabeth Fisher, 49, from Calgary
- Richard Fisher, 44, from Calgary
- Emanuel Amha, 30, from Calgary
- Olivier Kenge, 52, from Calgary
- Cole Leblanc, 30, from Calgary
- Victoria Pon, 29, from Vancouver
ALERT alleges Lowe oversaw an extensive drug distribution network that spanned from British Columbia to Ontario.
Based in Calgary, the 53-year-old man faces multiple criminal charges relating to organized crime, drugs and firearms.
ALERT alleges Lowe orchestrated cocaine supply lines and sent Fisher to Texas to facilitate the supply. She was arrested on May 18.
“The cocaine shipment was being transported in a rental vehicle in the outskirts of Houston, Texas,” Wallace explained.
Fisher was arrested on May 18 and has remained in a Texas prison ever since.
She is due to appear in a Houston court on March 2, and a Canadian warrant for her arrest has been issued.