More than $145,000 worth of cocaine, among other drugs, was seized from a rural residence near Crossfield Nov. 18, leading to the arrest of a 40-year-old man.
According to Staff Sgt. Jeff Ringelberg with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), the arrest took place during a vehicle stop in the town.
“Once we formed the grounds to arrest [the suspect] for those substantive offences, we also had a search warrant approved by a judge,” he said. “We executed the arrest in a safe way in a safe place to keep our officers and the public safe and make sure our search team was safe as they searched the property and seized the evidence we were looking for, which was the cocaine.”
According to a press release, the drugs seized included 1,459 grams of cocaine, six grams of psilocybin and 0.3 grams of methamphetamine. Other items, including 292 grams of an unknown pink powder, 134 grams of an unknown white powder, various rounds of ammunition and $120 in cash were also seized.
“We’re still waiting for [analysis] to come back from Health Canada to confirm those unknown powders,” Ringelberg said.
Jeffrey Bussey was arrested by way of a vehicle stop in Crossfield, according to Ringelberg, and was charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ammunition contrary to a prohibition order. The press release stated Bussey was suspected to be involved in regional drug trafficking.
Ringelberg added Bussey has already attended his first court appearance and was released on a number of conditions. He will face another court appearance soon.
Bussey was previously charged with seven criminal counts relating to the importation of illegal weapons in 2018.
Drug trafficking offences are magnified in rural communities, according to Ringelberg, and often produce a number of consequence offences related to addiction, such as property crimes and theft.
“Unfortunately, addiction costs money and, usually, these people are struggling for money to feed their addiction. That crosses over to the crimes that fuel the cash requirement to feed their addiction, which then affects our public in a serious and nasty way,” he said.
“We target these drug traffickers as a means of limiting the supply of drugs, and hopefully, the ripple effect is put out to our rural communities as we try to stem the surrounding crime associated with that drug trafficking and use.”
Ringelberg said the arrest demonstrated the effectiveness of ALERT, which is an Alberta government-funded compilation of the province’s “most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.”
“This was another example of why ALERT is such a robust team, as we try to target these drug traffickers,” he said. “We’ll keep doing what we do to try and keep this area of southern Alberta safe as much as we can.”
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
“We definitely can’t conduct our investigations without the assistance of other Albertans,” Ringelberg said. “It’s a team effort and we’re only a part of that team. This was a joint effort with many police partners, as well as the public.”