Drugs, firearms and vehicles seized in organized crime investigation
Two men have been charged, and subsequently released on bail, following a five-month investigation that resulted in the seizure of seven unlawfully possessed firearms and more than 1.5 kilograms of illicit drugs. In total, 40 criminal charges were laid, including 31 firearms-related charges.
In April 2023, the CPS Organized Crime Operations Unit began investigating after receiving information about two men who were believed to be involved in drug trafficking in Calgary and in unlawful possession of firearms.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, officers took two men into custody without incident and executed search warrants on four residences located in:
- 2300 block of Fifth Street S.W.
- 100 block of 23rd Avenue S.W.
- 300 block of 24th Avenue S.W.
- 700 block of 77th Street S.W.
As a result, officers seized the following items:
- Five handguns
- One rifle
- One shotgun
- 664 grams of fentanyl
- 928 grams of methamphetamine
- Drug production equipment and paraphernalia
- $24,000 in Canadian currency
- Four vehicles, including a black Acura ILX, green Porsche Panamera, white Range Rover HLE, and a white Infinity FX50
Leslie Babajid COLE, 32, of Calgary, has been charged with 31 firearms-related offences and one count each of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime. COLE was released on bail and will next appear in court on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.
Abel Dawit TESHOMA, 32, of Calgary, has been charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of drug trafficking and one count of possession of the proceeds of crimes. TESHOMA was released with consent on bail and will next appear in court on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.
Organized Crime and Offender Management Section investigators work collaboratively with Crown prosecutors to provide evidence to the court that demonstrates an offender’s risk to public safety. In this case, despite our coordinated efforts and the position of the Crown prosecutor, COLE was released on bail by the Alberta Court of Justice.
Anyone who is known to be unlawfully carrying firearms in our communities is a significant risk to public safety and we are targeting these individuals through investigations and enforcement. However, our efforts are only as good as our ability to keep these offenders in custody. In cases like this, where offenders are released on bail shortly after being charged, it takes additional resources from across the Service to manage that offender in community. As police officers, we do everything in our power to keep the community safe, but it is extremely concerning when individuals are released who have demonstrated a complete disregard for court-ordered conditions and a propensity to unlawfully possess firearms.
Addressing gun violence and organized crime continues to be a priority for our Service
Through investigation, prevention, and enforcement activities we have coordinated our resources to reduce victimization and enhance community safety.
Our efforts to address gun violence rely on strong community support. If you have information that could help an investigation, such as witnessing suspicious behaviour or vehicles, please contact police. Even something small can have a great impact on an investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips
Case # CA23150407/3532