Charges have been laid in one of Canada's largest fentanyl seizures which operated out a location in Aldersyde.
More than 130 charges have been laid in relation to the July 2021 bust, which seized more than 31 kg of fentanyl and 7,600 kg of chemicals used in fentanyl production. The estimated street value of the seizure was more than $300 million.
Three people from Okotoks were among the group of 10 charged Wednesday as part of ALERT's Project Essence — Juan Galan, 55, Gregory Hebb, 45, and Ryan Simpson, 41.
All three men face 14 charges, including possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offense.
All other alleged conspirators are from Edmonton.
The full list of those charged with a variety of offences, ranging from fentanyl production to criminal conspiracy is as follows:
- Jesse Deranger, 28, of Edmonton;
- Juan Galan, 55, of Okotoks;
- Gregory Hebb, 45, of Okotoks;
- Dakota Hogg, 27, of Edmonton;
- Christopher Loyie, 33, of Edmonton;
- Jonathon Loyie, 35, of Edmonton;
- Chad Loyie, 33, of Edmonton;
- Sierra Meuller, 19, of Edmonton;
- Ryan Simpson, 41, of Okotoks;
- Graham Thomas, 32, of Edmonton.
ALERT also seized 10.5 kg of isotonitazene, a synthetic opioid that is believed to be more potent than fentanyl. To date, this quantity of isotonitazene is the largest seizure of the drug in North America.
One kilogram of pure fentanyl is equal to one million doses and a lethal dose is considered to be 2 mg.
ALERT also seized 18 handguns, one rifle, $25,000 in cash and jewelry, six vehicles, four motorcycles, three trailers, and a boat. The assets were seized as proceeds of crime.
Project essence began last February when ALERT received information of attempts to import a 563-kilogram shipment of a chemical used in fentanyl production.
On July 7, 2021 13 search warrants were executed for locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Aldersyde.
Arrests were made this month after investigators completed the required reports.
The Okotoks Fire Department and the Foothills County Fire Department provided assistance during the investigation and subsequent seizure.
It's costs $75,000 to safely dispose of the seized chemicals. .
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.