'Project Deception' seizes over $500K in drugs in Okanagan, Alberta

Drug bust spans borders

More than a half a million dollars worth of drugs have been seized by police in a large operation spanning the Okanagan and Alberta.

“Project Deception” involved organized crime units in B.C., with the federal RCMP and in Lloydminster—where the investigation originated.

Police in Lloydminster made an initial drug seizure in May 2021, and from there, an operation was launched to dismantle the upper drug supply line and “uproot” the suppliers based in Kelowna and Edmonton.

Drug seizures staggered over the course of the investigation took place in Lloydminster, Edmonton, Springbrook, Alta., Kelowna, B.C. and Vernon, B.C. On June 1, 2022 multiple homes were also searched.

The drugs alone have an estimated street value of $571,000 and the seized items included:

  • Two handguns with ammunition;
  • 3,600 grams of cocaine;
  • 3,055 grams of suspected buffing agents;
  • 1,223 grams of methamphetamine;
  • 275 grams of suspected fentanyl;
  • $101,888 cash; and
  • $147,872 in restrained assets, including jewelry.

A news release from Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams says Project Deception is ongoing and investigators are preparing reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel. “A number” of suspects in both provinces have been identified.

“Working with our partners in ALERT is critical to both coordinated intelligence sharing and significantly amplifying enforcement efforts against those involved in organized crime. Law enforcement is well aware that those individuals and groups who engage in drug trafficking and violent criminal activities have no regard for provincial borders,” said Supt. Duncan Pound, CFSEU-BC, deputy operations officer.

“CFSEU-BC is committed to working closely with our partners across Canada to ensure that we are enhancing public safety in British Columbia; the arrests and charges stemming from this ALERT investigation represent a significant enforcement success for BC, Alberta and Canada.”

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