Maskwacis RCMP made multiple arrests and a seizure is valued at $160,000 following six search warrants executed between May 17 and 18, 2022. (Submitted/ Maskwacis RCMP)

Maskwacis RCMP made multiple arrests and a seizure is valued at $160,000 following six search warrants executed between May 17 and 18, 2022. (Submitted/ Maskwacis RCMP)

UPDATE: Maskwacis RCMP assist in significant seizure of illegal drugs; arrests made

UPDATE

Charges have been laid in connection with an illegal substance trafficking investigation in the Four Nations of Maskwacis.

On May 17 and 18, members of Maskwacis General Investigation Section (GIS) executed six search warrants at a residence on the Ermineskin Cree Nation and two residences in the City of Edmonton and seized $160,000 worth of illegal contraband.

The search warrants were executed following months of investigation by Maskwacis GIS to dismantle a trafficking network that they became aware of in June 2021.

Following the May searches, two males from Edmonton were arrested for their involvement in the trafficking network.

Salih Khoshnaw, 32, was charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of unstamped tobacco products for the purpose of selling, and fraud over $5,000.

Leslie Dennehy, 35, was charged under the Cannabis Act for possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution and possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.

With assistance from the Edmonton Police Service Tactical Team and Police Dog Services, Maskwacis RCMP executed another search warrant at a residence and on a vehicle in Edmonton May 25 after identifying another person associated with the same illegal trafficking group.

During the May 25 search warrant police seized approximately 1.6 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 740 grams of unknown substances believed to be buffing agent, items used to produce crack-cocaine, $16,560 in cash, approximately 13 lbs of illegal cannabis and 5,400 illegal cigarettes.

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Additionally, Shimal Saad, 33, of Edmonton was charged with:

• Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;

• Possession of an item to produce a controlled substance, contrary to section 7.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;

• Possession of unstamped tobacco for the purpose of sale, contrary to section 121.1 of the Criminal Code;

• Possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000, contrary to section 355(a) of the Criminal Code;

• Possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution, contrary to section 9(2) of the Cannabis Act;

• Possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling, contrary to section 10(2) of the Cannabis Act;

• Possession of unstamped tobacco product, contrary to section 32(1) of the Excise Act, 2001;

• Fraud, contrary to section 380 of the Criminal Code (x4); and

• Possession of cannabis, contrary to Section 90.08(1) of the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act.

Saad was released following a bail hearing and is scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on 8:30 a.m. Thursday June 9, 2022.

Khoshnaw and Dennehy were held for bail hearings and released by a Justice of the Peace with conditions. Both are scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court, Khoshnaw on June 15, 2022, and Dennehy on June 10, 2022.

“We will continue to address our communities concerns of drug trafficking within Maskwacis. This is one of many ongoing investigations where our officers are targeting those who continue to bring drugs onto the Nations”, said Insp. Leanne MacMillan, Officer in Charge of the Maskwacis Detachment.

The combined seizures from May 17 and 25 have a total value of approximately $400,000.

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Original Story — Maskwacis RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) executed six search warrants this week that resulted in the seizure of a significant amount of drugs and multiple arrests.

Maskwacis General Investigation Section (GIS) became aware of illegal trafficking of substance into the four communities of Maskwacis in June 2021 and spent the following months conducting an investigation and working on dismantling the trafficking network.

The search warrants were executed between May 17, 2022, and May 18, 2022, in a joint operation with members from the Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP detachments, Central Alberta District GIS and the Edmonton Police Services.

The warrants were executed at a residence on the Ermineskin Cree Nation and two residences as well as a storage locker in the City of Edmonton. Two vehicles associated with the illegal trafficking network were also searched.

Police located and seized the following items:

• 50,000 illicit cigarettes valued at $44,000;

• 17 lbs of illegal cannabis with a street value of $75,000;

• 1,200 unidentified pills;

• 1 litre of cannabis resin;

• And $38,000 in cash proceeds.

Two males from the City of Edmonton were arrested for their involvement in the trafficking network.

Salih Khoshnaw, 32, has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of unstamped tobacco products for the purpose of selling, and fraud over $5,000.

Leslie Dennehy, 35, has been charged under the Cannabis Act for possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution and possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.

Police say the seizure is valued at $160,000 and the investigation is still ongoing with more charges pending.

Both Khoshnaw and Dennehy were held for bail hearings and released by a Justice of the Peace with conditions. Both are scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court, Khoshnaw on June 15, 2022, and Dennehy on June 10, 2022.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

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