An investigation into a sophisticated crime group distributing illicit substances in Saskatchewan and Alberta has led to 70 criminal charges being laid as well as the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs.
The Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit (FSOC) in Regina, began investigating the crime group, that was distributing drugs to multiple communities across the two provinces, back in October of 2020.
Urban and rural communities across Saskatchewan were affected such as Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Assiniboia, Marquis, Mossbank, Caronport, Hudson Bay, Limerick, Craven and Lloydminster.
During the two-year investigation, RCMP conducted more than 7,000 hours of surveillance between Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario.
The extensive investigation also included over sixty judicial authorizations being executed; seven individuals being criminally charged; and a significant amount of illicit drugs and currency being removed from the streets.
Seizures of illicit substances included; 397.5 grams of cocaine and 2.97 kilograms of methamphetamine seized near Chamberlain, SK, 452.7 grams of cocaine seized in Fort McMurray, AB, and 1,540 grams of Meclonazepam (approximately 5,000 fake Xanax pills) seized in Edmonton, AB.
A subsequent search warrant was executed at another location in Edmonton, AB, where investigators found an additional 7,662.21 grams of Meclonazepam (approximately 25,000 fake Xanax pills), 40.01 grams of cocaine, 659.49 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms), 39.54 grams of MDMA and $123,652 in Canadian currency.
As a result of the investigation, police have laid 70 charges, which include conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance, trafficking in a controlled substance and property obtained by crime.
Six individuals; Travis Ferko of Edmonton, AB, Cody Klemola of Edmonton, AB, Matteo Cimino of St. Albert, AB, Jennifer Tabunar of Edmonton, AB, Joel Gladue of Edmonton, AB, and Cong Su of Vaughn, ON, have been arrested and will appear in Provincial court in Regina on June 21, 2022.
Police are continuing their search for the seventh individual charged in relation to the investigation, 48-year-old Michael Bagan of Edmonton, AB.
Bagan is said to be 6’1” tall, approximately 216 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
In a statement released by the RCMP, Andrew Farquhar of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit in Regina said, “The negative impact this group had on people in Saskatchewan and Alberta is immeasurable. These types of groups profit by poisoning our people and our communities – both in big cities and small towns. We’re really pleased to have taken these harmful substances out of our communities.”
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Michael Bagan is asked to contact their local police service, RCMP Detachment or the Saskatchewan RCMP at 310-RCMP.
Information can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.
Written by Ally Paige