Colten Reid | Sept 30, 2022
Edmonton Police posted a media release on July 12th, 2022, detailing the disruption of a “major liquor distribution network.”
According to Global News, “A police investigation that began in 2020 has led to the seizure of nearly half a million dollars in drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, and the arrest of 10 local business owners and traffickers.”
In late 2020, police and FIAT, an EPS Focused Intervention and Apprehension Team, begin tracking an underground market for stolen goods, alcohol, and drugs.
For two years, a team followed and uncovered the inner workings of a large distribution network.
“A large market for stolen liquor was uncovered, along with a coordinated distribution network that was supplying the liquor to legitimate local businesses,” according to EPS.
The media release includes photos of the seized alcohol, unmarked cigarettes, fentanyl pills, cocaine, and Xanax.
According to The Edmonton Journal, the police confiscated approximately “$130,000 worth of liquor, 350,000 unmarked cigarettes worth around $35,000, 1.49 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of about $185,000, 730 fentanyl pills worth around $73,000, and 270 Xanax pills with a value of around $5,400.” The police also executed search warrants over a period of several months at multiple homes and businesses in the city.
Through these search warrants, police were able to arrest some of those involved in the crime ring. The Edmonton Journal reported that, so far, officers have arrested ten people and there are four additional suspects; three of which are business owners in the city, and everyone involved with the distribution network will face charges.
Global News reported that the investigation was due to noticed missing alcohol: “The investigation was initially a response to a growing trend of alcohol theft, but later revealed a larger market for stolen liquor ‘along with a co-ordinated distribution network that was supplying the liquor to legitimate local businesses,’ according to a release from the Edmonton Police Service.”
“What I’ve learned through this investigation is that if you charge a corporation, which we intend to do, that the fines can be upwards of $100,000,” said Acting Staff Sgt. David Graham.
Edmonton Police intend to charge the corporations and businesses related to the investigation and illegal drug ring.
At the news conference, Sgt.Graham stated that there are “many more” involved and they will not be getting off “scot-free.”