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Edmonton man charged after $7M in drugs seized in drug importation investigation

A 42-year-old Edmonton man has been charged after upwards of $7 million worth of drugs were seized in a drug importation investigation earlier this year. Courtesy, IBET

A 42-year-old Edmonton man has been charged after upwards of $7 million worth of drugs were seized in a drug importation investigation earlier this year.

The months-long investigation looked into cross-border drug importation involving commercial transport vehicles. It culminated with 38 kilograms of cocaine and 30 kilograms of heroin being seized by the Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET).

Read more: Calgary man charged after cocaine found in shipment of bananas at Coutts border crossing

The drugs have a street value of about $7 million, IBET said in a news release Thursday.

A spokesperson with the RCMP said the investigation began in April 2022, but could not provide information about where the seizure took place.

“This complex investigation, which spanned several months, is a great demonstration on the importance of collaboration between agencies,” said Supt. Sean Boser, OIC of Federal Policing.

“Investigators were able to prevent 68 kg of cocaine and heroin from impacting Alberta’s communities and potentially saving lives.”

Read more: $55M worth of meth, cocaine seized after 3-year cross-border police investigation: ALERT

The investigation was a collaboration with the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and Calgary Police Service.

“Through excellent teamwork, we have been able to remove a substantial supply of drugs that were likely destined to target vulnerable addicted individuals. These are people that feed their supply through crime that impacts our broader communities,” said Acting Supt. Melanie Oncescu of the CPS criminal operations and intelligence division.

On Oct. 13, David Phanthikane 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.

Phanthikane is scheduled to appear in Edmonton Provincial Court on Thursday.

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