A year-long project has led to the dismantling of a large drug supply network in the province with links to the Hells Angels.
Entitled Project Entry, the joint investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) and the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime group was able to demolish an extensive network in northern Alberta that was distributing cocaine.
The network operated out the Edmonton and Spruce Grove areas with tentacles extending to Grande Prairie, Whitecourt, Cold Lake and then to smaller nearby communities.
In total, 10 people, one with links to the Hells Angels, were arrested between July 25 and 30 in various locations and now face 45 charges relating to the investigation. As well, five kilograms of cocaine, half a kilogram of the buffing agent Phenacetin, cannabis resin, a handgun, multiple vehicles and motorcycles plus $13,000 in cash were seized as proceeds of crime.
In a press conference from Edmonton, ALERT CEO Chad Coles explained the network was linked to a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and several members of supporting motorcycle clubs.
“The true success of this investigation is the complete destruction of this network’s reach,” he said.
“The key figures in this network are associated with the Hells Angels and its support clubs.”
Spruce Grove’s William McCabe, 47, was allegedly at the top of this network and is a known member of the Edmonton-based Hells Angels Westridge chamber. He is charged with instructing a criminal organization along with participation in a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic drugs.
A pair of members of the Dirty Few Lakeland Motorcycle Club — one of 16 support clubs in the province for the six Alberta Hells Angels chapters known to operate in Alberta — face the most charges among the group.
Pascal Jaques, 40 of Cold Lake, is charged with 12 offences including trafficking drugs, possession of a weapon for the purpose of trafficking, committing an offense for a criminal organization and possession of a restricted weapon with ammunition.
Meanwhile, 39 year 0ld Shane Daly from Spruce Grove has been charged with eight offenses including instructing a criminal organization, drug trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.
The other seven people arrested and charged include: 36 year-old Anton Petrowitz of Calgary; 33 year-old Clinton Thomas of Parkland County; 32 year-old Joseph Collicutt from Grande Prairie; 31 year-old Larissa Aumus and 42 year-old Theresa Acker both from Spruce Grove and 38 year-old Nicholas Stovell.
All of these individuals face a range of charges including participating in a criminal organization, drug trafficking and conspiracy and property related offenses.
“A lot of effort, resources and personnel go into an investigation such as this and to have this culminate in providing evidence to indicate someone in charge of a criminal organization and is a member of the Hells Angels is significant,” Coles noted.
Chief Supt. Ian Lawson with the RCMP’s K Division (Alberta) added the fact that a large self-identified criminal organization as the Hells Angels uses these support clubs to insulate themselves, makes the outcome of this investigation even more successful.
“By using these support groups, it provides some challenges to identify just exactly who is providing the direction,” Lawson explained.
“To be able identify that person in this investigation, that is a significant success in our enforcement efforts.”
The hope with this investigation is it will send a statement to organized crime in Alberta.