Calgary, AB,

Twenty-nine people charged in downtown operation

Twenty-nine people are facing 128 charges following two separate police operations in the downtown core to target drug trafficking and the violence that comes with it.

Following concerns brought forward by the public, the Calgary Police Service District 1 and the Drug Unit initiated the first operation in December 2015. This first phase focused resources on the 17 Avenue corridor where officers observed a number of drug-related activities taking place in front of, or in close proximity to, a number of family restaurants in the area. At the end of the first phase of this operation, seven people were arrested for a variety of drug and stolen property charges along with outstanding warrants.

“Drug activity breeds violence and property crime such as break and enters, car prowlings and vehicle thefts,” says District 1 Inspector Cliff O’Brien. “We will not tolerate this kind of activity preventing families and members of the public from enjoying our city and all that it has to offer.”

The second phase of the operation took place in January 2016 and targeted 7 Avenue S.W. where drug trafficking was observed to be taking place in public spaces frequented by families, such as restaurants, the Calgary Public Library and Olympic Plaza.

“Calgary’s Central Library is an integral part of Calgary’s downtown. Like all of our 18 community libraries, it is designed to offer a safe community place that provides Library services for all Calgarians within a respectful environment where lawful, civil behaviour is expected,” says Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library. “The Library and our 500,000+ patrons value that free and open approach and appreciate the Calgary Police Service’s commitment to the ongoing safety and security of our public spaces. The Library will continue to work closely with CPS.”

During the January phase of the operation, 22 people were charged and face 81 drug and criminal code charges. More than half are known to police for violence and property-related offences.

“It is essential that people continue to feel safe in the downtown. Focused CPS operations, like this one, have a significant impact on keeping serious crime in check,” says Maggie Schofield, Executive Director, Calgary Downtown Association.

The most commonly seized drug during this operation was crystal meth, followed by morphine. Fentanyl was only seized once out of more than 30 drug seizures.

The Calgary Police Service would like to thank our partner agencies for their support during these operations, and the members of the public who brought their concerns to our attention. Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is encouraged to contact the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234.

“We can’t do this alone. Accurate and timely reporting allows us to deploy our resources where they are needed most. Never hesitate to call,” says Insp. O’Brien.

The following is a list of those who have been charged as a result of the two-month operations:

  • Lloyd Fred BRULE, 25
  • Robert Charles GOURLAY, 34
  • Daniel Paul MARQUIS, 33
  • Jayson YOUNGBERG, 45
  • Emily MASON, 29
  • Riley Gabe FIDDLER, 19
  • Andrew MAIER, 40
  • Jason KRUGER, 55
  • Justin BLACK, 25
  • Alexander MCNAIR, 37
  • Aaron MATHIAS, 36
  • Julius PEACEMAKER, 28
  • Brian JARVIS, 49
  • William DUFOUR, 25
  • Clifford TURNER, 58
  • Cory DEPRES, 35
  • Colleen CHOMA, 33
  • Darren TOMCZAK, 41
  • Joshua SERSON, 24
  • Robert JACOBSON, 39
  • Chasity COURTRE, 22
  • Brooke DIONNE, 22
  • Margaret WEASELHEAD, 29
  • John REID, 57
  • Said ASHRAF, 40
  • Darren KENNEDY, 48
  • Peter MCKENZIE, 61