Edmonton police make largest cocaine seizure in city’s history

EDMONTON – More than $2.5 million of cocaine, along with handguns, a silencer, bullet proof vest, and more than $308,000 in cash are some of what has been seized in two unrelated drug investigations in north Edmonton.

Five people have been arrested in the two busts, both of which took place last Friday.

One was the result of a two-month investigation by the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) Unit, involving the tactical and canine units, as well as patrol and surveillance teams. After executing a search warrant at an apartment complex in the area of 146 Avenue and 50 Street, police found an operational cocaine conversion lab, where they seized the following:

  • 28 kg of cocaine with a street value of $2.5 million (the largest seizure of the drug in Edmonton)
  • 10.5 kg of a chemical agent used in the cocaine base conversion process valued at $52,000
  •  over $265,000 cash
Shane Jones, Global News

A search of the vehicle connected to one of the accused turned up:

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  • $12,000 cash
  • 0.2 grams of heroin in a hidden compartment

Edmonton resident Jesse James Langevin, 27, and 42 year-old Vincent Louie of Vancouver have both been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and cocaine conversion.

“This seizure will definitely have a significant impact within the drug trade in Edmonton,” said Staff Sgt. Carlos Cardoso with the Edmonton Police Service.

“In my experience with the EDGE unit, cocaine is definitely the drug of choice, we know that GHB is coming on our radar quite often,” he adds, “but I’d still believe that cocaine is the drug of choice in Edmonton.”

In the other bust, the EDGE Unit executed a search warrant at a home in the area of 105 Avenue and 117 Street. There, the following items were seized:

  • Loaded 9mm handgun
  • Loaded magazine
  • Silencer for the handgun
  • Bullet proof vest
  • Radio jamming devices
  • Three homemade tracking devices
  • $31,700 cash
Shane Jones, Global News

Investigators also searched a vehicle associated with the accused, and found hidden compartments that contained:

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  • 0.25 kgs of cocaine with an estimated street value of $25,000
  • 32 caliber handgun
  • Silencer for the handgun
  • Ammunition
  • 2008 SUV worth $28,000

Three people were arrested at the home: 22-year-old Tevya Wesley Thickson, 26-year-old Francheska Quach, and 23-year-old Awet Mehari Ghebre.

Ghebre’s charges include a number of weapons offences, including knowingly possessing a prohibited or restricted weapon and possessing a weapon obtained by crime

Thickson and Quach’s charges also include weapons offences, plus possession for the purpose of trafficking.

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