Home in Airdrie tied to drug trafficking
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am
A member of the Red Scorpions gang, along with three associates, was arrested after police executed search warrants in Airdrie, Red Deer and Calgary on July 28.
Red Deer RCMP and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) executed the warrants that included a home in the Channelside community of Airdrie.
While no arrests were made in Airdrie, Michael Tucker, spokesperson for ALERT, said officers found “trace amounts of cocaine and some evidence that drug trafficking was occurring at that location.”
A stolen shot gun and a replica handgun were also found at the home in Airdrie, according to Tucker.
The Red Scorpions, based in BC, have been linked to a number of crimes, including drug trafficking and murder, including the murder of six people in Surrey, BC in 2007, according to RCMP.
The arrests and execution of the search warrants came after an investigation by RCMP and ALERT into the gang’s infiltration of the drug trafficking market in Alberta, launched in June, according to RCMP.
“The information that we have is that these individuals were active in those three markets and pretty much everywhere in between,” said Tucker.
“How the pattern works is drugs were originating in Calgary as the point of distribution and then being dumped in Airdrie and Red Deer for trafficking activities.”
Cory James Lesperance, 29, a member of the Red Scorpions, was at a home in the Balmoral Heights area, just south of Red Deer, when he was arrested. Police found two firearms at the residence along with a large amount of drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine. He faces a total of 14 drug and weapons charges.
Lesperance is currently prohibited from being in possession of firearms and has a recognizance order in place stemming from a previous investigation in November 2013, according to a statement issued by RCMP and ALERT on July 28.
The statement also said three known associates of Lesperance were arrested in Red Deer on July 28. Robin Joseph Stewart, 52, faces eight drug and weapons charges, Nicholas David James White, 21, faces six drug and weapons charges, and Amber McLeod, 23, faces four drug and weapons charges. RCMP and ALERT said further charges may be laid once they complete their investigation.
Tucker said Lesperance and the three associates “had been in the (Red Deer to Calgary) area for somewhere between two years and the last couple of months. They were quite fluid.”
RCMP and ALERT also found almost $9,000 in cash, drug paraphernalia such as scales and packaging materials and two vehicles during the execution of the search warrants.
Tucker said members of the general public who have concerns about gang activity in their community can contact police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
A pedestrian was not injured after she was struck by an SUV as she was crossing First Avenue at Main Street in Airdrie’s northwest on July 22 shortly after 4 p.m. RCMP said.
Cst. Jason Curtis of the Airdrie RCMP responded to the scene and said the female pedestrian was sitting on a bench talking to the female driver when he arrived.
She was checked out by EMS and transported to Airdrie’s Urgent Care Centre as a precaution.
The driver has been charged under the Provincial Traffic Safety Act with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and faces a $575 fine.
Curtis was not able to provide the ages or names of the victim or the driver but said neither was elderly nor a child or youth. He believed both were from Airdrie.
Alcohol and speed were not factors in the incident, according to Curtis.
If you have any information on any crime, call your local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).