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Four arrested after dial-a-dope operation busted in Grande Prairie

Photo by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team
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GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. — Four people have been arrested in Grande Prairie after an Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team investigation of a suspected dial-a-dope operation yielded drugs, a stolen gun, and more than $34,000 cash.

Police say their investigation began late last month after receiving information about drug trafficking activity in the Grande Prairie area. On January 22nd, members of ALERT’s Grande Prairie organized crime and gang team and the local RCMP executed a search warrant at a home in Grande Prairie.

Inside the home, police found 85 grams of cocaine, 11.5 grams of methamphetamine, 65 millilitres of GHB, one gram of psilocybin mushrooms, a set of brass knuckles, a Ruger .22-250 calibre rifle, and more than $34,000 cash.

A police check revealed that the rifle had been reported stolen after a break-and-enter in DeBolt, Alberta one year ago. Four people were arrested and are facing a slew of charges.

38 year-old Kenneth Erskine is charged with three counts of drug trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime. He is also wanted for related offences on Vancouver Island. 27 year-old Matthew Roberti is charged with four counts of trafficking, two counts each of: Possession for the purpose of trafficking, Possession of a controlled substance, Possession of proceeds of crime, and one count of possession of a prohibited weapon.

Tara Cartwright, aged 44, and 31 year-old Alexander Kalashnikoff are each charged with five counts of possession of proceeds of crime, two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of a stolen firearm. Erskine, Cartwright and Kalashnikoff are scheduled to appear in court on February 22nd. Roberti will appear in court on January 29th.

“A successful ‘wrap-around’ crime reduction approach depends on successful partnerships. This is another example of a successful partnership between ALERT and local RCMP that removed a firearm and dangerous substances from our streets,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Warren. “We will continue to target these criminal activities in efforts to reduce crime in our neighbourhoods.”

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call their local police, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

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