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UPDATE: Airdrie house in Bayside shuttered due to drug activity

The Alberta Sheriffs have shut down a residential property in Bayside due to drug activity.
The house was boarded up and a fence was installed around it on Nov. 18.

The Alberta Sheriffs have shut down a residential property in Bayside due to reported drug activity. 

According to a press release, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owner of 247 Bayside Point SW in Airdrie. The court order closes the property for 90 days and forbids anyone from entering the dwelling until Feb. 16, 2022.

The community safety order took effect at noon today, according to the release. The order authorizes investigators to install a fence around the house, board up the windows, and change the locks. The measures will remain in place and keep anyone from entering the property until the closure period ends.

“Thanks to the diligent work of the Alberta Sheriffs, people in this community can go back to feeling safe and at ease in their neighbourhood," said Kaycee Madu, the minister of justice and solicitor general for the Alberta government, in the release. "The SCAN Act is an effective tool for law enforcement by allowing authorities to combat crime by targeting properties associated with criminal activity.”

The release states the SCAN unit began its investigation after receiving several complaints about drug activity from members of the community. Surveillance by the SCAN unit substantiated those complaints and confirmed drug activity was taking place.

Since December 2018, the local RCMP responded to more than 50 calls to the property for a variety of reasons, including domestic disputes, disturbances, and stolen vehicles.

“Investigators observed a high number of people coming and going from the property by car, on bicycles and on foot,” the release read.

Drug activity at the property has also been the subject of two criminal investigations by police. According to Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service searched the property in January with the assistance from the Airdrie RCMP, finding drug paraphernalia and laying more than 70 criminal charges against one person.

Later, in August, the RCMP executed a search warrant and found drug paraphernalia as well as a machete.

Two residents of the area – who both said they were involved with consultation with the SCAN unit – said the problems associated with the house seemed to stem from the separation of the couple who owned the property.

“The person who owned it, I think they had been here for about 13 years. I believe what happened was a marriage kind of ended and then the owner got into drugs and that kind of stuff," said one Bayside resident, whom the Airdrie City View has agreed not to identify. "He went down a bad path and got surrounded by people who contributed to that.

"What we started noticing in the last year was there was a lot more coming and going, a lot more transient people. There were even a few incidences where people we’d never seen were threatening people on the street or trying to get into cars. That alerted us to what was going on, because people were showing up in the neighbourhood who weren’t from around here and weren’t acting appropriately, either on drugs or some other issue.”

The resident added there was frequently a police presence at the house, adding they could recall at least 10 incidences where police were called to the property in the last year.

“I feel kind of sad for the owner because he has been here for quite some time,” they said. "Obviously, things spiralled out of control. Hopefully he gets the help he needs.”

The other resident interviewed by the City View said people in the area were aware of the nature of the house, adding there were frequently people coming and going at all hours of the day.

“At the time, you could tell there was potential drug use,” they said. “You could see people evidently on something when they’d walk in and out of the house. A lot of different people came in and out of the house, there were a lot of vehicles coming and going at all hours of the night. At one point, they had a fifth-wheel parked in the front yard with people living in it.”

On Nov. 5, SCAN investigators obtained a community safety order in Court of Queen’s Bench. The order remains in effect for one year, keeping the property under supervision until Nov. 5, 2022.

“The SCAN unit works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities,” the release explained. “The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through civil enforcement.”

Airdrie Today Staff

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