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Head of ‘The Family’ charged; more than 500 in Calgary network, police say

Calgary Police have arrested a man who they believe is the leader of a criminal organization that’s connected to dozens of violent incidents over the past 18 months.

Over the past year, the District 1 General Investigations Unit (GIU) identified what they believe is a network of individuals known as “The Family.”

Lawrence Chukwka Orubor, 52, of Calgary, who police believe is the leader of “The Family,” has been charged with instructing drug trafficking and violent offences for a criminal organization, as well as other related charges.

He will appear in court on Friday, (Nov. 6)

‘The Family’ is comprised of individuals with addictions and other vulnerabilities, who are primarily homeless and mostly reside in and around the downtown area.

Police said that they’re committed to identifying and holding to account those who prey on vulnerable Calgarians and to not criminalize addiction.

Hundreds suspected in ‘the Family’ network

More than 500 people are believed to be connected to ‘The Family’s’ drug distribution network as either sellers or buyers.

More than 80 violent incidents over 18 months are connected to the criminal organization, police said.

“This operation sought to address the ongoing drug-related crime and violence throughout the downtown core,” District 1 GIU Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach, in a prepared release.

“It was equally important that we worked with our community partners to ensure vulnerable people connected to this organization had support and access to services.”

The Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Team has paired up with the Bear Clan Patrol. They’ve offered support and resources to more than 100 vulnerable persons in the downtown area.

The Elbow River Healing Lodge, the Friendship Centre, the SORCe and Be The Change YYC, were engaged to offer immediate resources and support in the days to come.

A person wearing a Bear Clan Patrol vest with a Calgary police officer (city of Calgary newsroom)

After a complex six-month investigation, police searched two vehicles and four homes located in the 0-100 block Lake Sylvan Close SE, the 500 block of 8 Street NE, the 1100 block of 8 Avenue NE, and the 1700 block of 26 Avenue SW.

As a result, the following items were seized:

  • 1,006 grams of methamphetamine
  • 232 grams of fentanyl
  • 233 grams of crack cocaine
  • 282 grams of powder cocaine
  • 630 grams of GHB
  • $34,791 in cash
  • drug trafficking paraphernalia such as scales
  • weapons – crossbows, knives and bear spray