Roughly $5 million in cocaine was seized after the Calgary Police Service (CPS) was involved in a cross-jurisdictional bust in February.
Staff Sgt. Mark Rahn with the Calgary Police Service Organized Crime Operations Unit said that this latest cocaine seizure was only nine kilograms less than the CPS had seized in all of 2022.
“This is incredibly significant, not only to the community of Calgary but also Alberta and east of Alberta as well,” said Rahn.
Ninety-one kilos of cocaine were snatched in an investigation involving the Edmonton and Vancouver police services and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.
In mid-February, Calgary police intercepted two vehicles that were travelling from Calgary to Vancouver. The cocaine was discovered in specialized compartments after a search warrant was executed on the vehicles.
“We executed search warrants on these vehicles and discovered both were equipped with sophisticated, aftermarket hidden compartments,” Rahn said.
“These compartments were welded into the vehicles and were operated by hydraulics through relay switches.”
They also executed warrants at a residence located in the 3800 block of Brentwood Road NW and a vehicle associated with that home. They found another small amount of cocaine and fentanyl, along with scales and other materials consistent with drug trafficking activity.
Steven Christopher Fera, 45, of Calgary, and Jason Jamie Chan, 38, of Surrey, are charged with two counts each of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Cross-country dent in drug network
SSgt Rahn said that they believe the drugs were destined for Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton and Northern Alberta.
“We believe these drugs were destined for communities across Canada and would have contributed to many of the issues impacting citizens today including social disorder, addictions, overdoses and drug-related violence,” he said.
“A seizure of the size significantly disrupts the operations of organized crime groups across Canada.”
Rahn also said that it will also impact the amount of violence associated with drugs and drug trafficking.
Fera was not known to the CPS. Chan was known to the Vancouver Police Department, but not here in Calgary, SSgt. Rahn said.
They don’t know the country of origin for the drugs, but future chemical analysis could determine that, he said. Also, no weapons were seized in the bust.