More than $1M worth of drugs, cash off the streets in Lethbridge: ALERT

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge drug bust seizes city-record amounts of fentanyl, meth'
Lethbridge drug bust seizes city-record amounts of fentanyl, meth
One man is facing more than a dozen charges after what Lethbridge Police and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team are calling one of the largest drug busts in Lethbridge’s history. Erik Bay has more on the seizure. – Jan 25, 2023

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) said they’ve taken more than $1 million worth of drugs and cash off the streets in Lethbridge.

On Dec. 20, 2022, record amounts of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine were seized. With the help of Lethbridge police, the ALERT Lethbridge organized crime team searched a home in the London Road area and a garage in the Winston Churchill neighbourhood during the investigation. Two vehicles that were also searched were seized.

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According to a news release, it’s believed to be one of the city’s largest drug busts.

Drugs seized include:

  • 5.2 kilograms of methamphetamine;
  • 3.2 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 1.6 kilograms of fentanyl powder;
  • 418 grams of ketamine; and,
  • 35 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.

A total of $79,000 in cash was also found, along with four firearms.

“It’s Lethbridge’s largest seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl,” said ALERT Insp. Brad Lundeen.

“The impact to the community of Lethbridge and the surrounding communities will save lives. Getting these street drugs, this harmful substance, off the streets is significant.”

“One of the firearms was a prohibited sawed-off shotgun, and another was a loaded handgun that had been previously reported stolen from Redcliff, Alta.,” a news release stated.

Patrick Rodney faces a slew of charges, including possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime, unlawful storage of a firearm, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, knowingly possessing an unauthorized firearm, knowingly possessing a prohibited weapon, possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition, possession of a firearm obtained by crime, possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition and breach of probation.

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ALERT began investigating the man in October 2022 after receiving a tip about suspected drug trafficking.

The 34-year-old was previously investigated and charged by ALERT in 2014 and was banned from owning any firearms.

“He was charged and convicted for the purpose of trafficking,” Lundeen said.

Police said he remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials are calling the seizure and important step for public safety, but add it won’t eliminate drugs in the city.

“There’s obviously other initiatives and investigations to catch the next ones, so we’re not going to stop on that front,” LPS chief Shahin Mehdizadeh said.

Lethbridge’s largest known drug seizure occurred in February 2017 when ALERT and LPS seized $1.2 million of drugs.

Click to play video: 'ALERT superintendent says they got the ‘whole snake’ after record-setting drug bust'
ALERT superintendent says they got the ‘whole snake’ after record-setting drug bust

With files from Erik Bay, Global News

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