Ecstasy, paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), and bath salts were in the spotlight throughout 2012, demonstrating the importance of the ongoing efforts of the Calgary Police Service Drug Unit.
The beginning of 2012 saw a deadly development in the overdose deaths of nine people linked to PMMA sold as ecstasy (MDMA). The CPS Drug Unit worked hard to get the drugs off the street, issued a community alert, and went to the unusual step of releasing the photos of seven people charged with trafficking ecstasy containing PMMA, all in hopes of dissuading people from using drugs and ultimately preventing further deaths.
Efforts appeared to pay off - after February there were no further reported incidents of overdoses linked to PMMA.
Bath salts appeared in the media shortly after, quickly gaining publicity as sensationalized cases arose from the United States. Although there were a few reports in Calgary of people claiming they had purchased the street drug, the CPS Drug Unit did not seize, nor find any substance identified as bath salts in 2012.
Other Trends of Note
From January to November 2012, the Calgary Police Drug Unit noticed an 80 per cent increase in the incidents of methamphetamines compared to the same time period the year before.
Investigators believe this may be attributed to targeted investigations rather than an actual increase in street usage.
However, in the ranking of most common drugs in Calgary, methamphetamines rank eighth.
Marijuana, cocaine, and opioids remain the top three most common drugs found in Calgary.
Cases of Note
- Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 - Two people were arrested with a combined total of 35 charges following a search warrant was executed in the 400 block of Templeside Circle N.E. A search of a residence and vehicle uncovered 234.9 grams of cocaine, 435.6 grams of marijuana, 170.1 grams of cannabis resin, 2.1 grams of ecstasy, a baton, brass knuckles, C$24,060 and US$211. A 2008 Ford F-150 was also seized.
- Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 – Two people were arrested with a combined total of 27 charges following search warrants for two northwest residences and two vehicles. The search revealed 823.4 grams of powder ecstasy, 4 capsules of ecstasy, 6.6 grams of marijuana, knives, a collapsible baton and $1,900.
- Thursday, March 22, 2012 – Six charges were laid against one person after search warrants were executed at a southwest and a southeast residence, along with a vehicle. Investigators recovered 1,308.7 grams of cocaine, 1,333.8 grams of marijuana, 1,068 grams of cannabis shake, 5.6 grams of cannabis resin, a shotgun, semiautomatic handgun, drug paraphernalia and $8,295.
- Thursday, May 24, 2012 – Following the recovery of a stolen 2008 Land Rover Range Rover, a search warrant was executed in the 500 block of Bracewood Drive S.W. Police seized 1,181.9 grams of marijuana valued at $10,000, 8.7 grams of magic mushrooms and $5,800 cash. Two people were arrested with a combined total of 15 charges.
- Thursday, June 7, 2012 – Sixteen charges were laid against one person following a search warrant executed in the 1600 block of 70 Street S.E. The search uncovered 28.4 grams of cocaine, 377.8 grams of marijuana, C$9,940, US$100, a Glock 23 handgun, a Glock 30 handgun with a loaded magazine, a stolen CZ75 Tactical Sport handgun, 100 rounds of 40 caliber ammunition and packaging material.
- Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 – Two people were arrested with a combined total of 13 charges following search warrants executed at two southeast residences. The search uncovered 103.6 grams of crack cocaine, 21.3 grams marihuana, 9mm luger K100 handgun, 2 - 9mm magazines each loaded with 10 rounds, .22 caliber round, 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 11 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, .22 caliber pen gun, C$6,195 and US$95.
- Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 – Two people were arrested and two people are wanted on warrants for a combined total of 61 charges following search warrants executed at two northwest residences and one northeast residence. The search uncovered 190.6 grams of marijuana, 3.7 grams of powder cocaine, 26 grams of crack cocaine, 34 tablets of ecstasy, 10 tablets of valium, $5,205, a loaded Smith and Wesson 357 magnum revolver, Ruger M77 Mark II rifle, 14 - 30-06 rounds, an antique revolver, cell phones, Wild Sabre Max bear spray, drug packaging material, scales and two knives.
Many of these seizures demonstrate the involvement of multiple types of drugs, weapons and the ongoing connection to organized crime.
Details of a media availability and property display will follow in a media advisory.