Officers with the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) said a number of members of a Drayton Valley chapter of a high-profile motorcycle club were in custody, and a number of firearms had been seized.

ALERT said the arrests came after members with the ALERT Edmonton Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), with help from Drayton Valley RCMP, the RCMP Emergency Response Team and the Edmonton Police Service, searched a home associated with the Warlocks outlaw motorcycle club on March 21.

As part of the search, investigators seized a handgun, six rifles (including two prohibited firearms), 273 rounds of ammunition, weapons such as brass knuckles and airsoft guns, more than one kilogram of marijuana, more than 200 prescription pills, in addition to $6,150 in cash.

“They were seized in a residential home in a neighbourhood that could have been yours or mine,” Darcy Strang with ALERT said. “We are pleased to have taken this arsenal out of commission and to have put these outlaw motorcycle gang members and their associates before the courts.”

In total, eight people were arrested – four of them members of the Warlocks: Sheldon King, 31, Rocky Buzzell, 49, Luke Bushell, 22, and Dean McKnight, 41.

ALERT said McKnight was arrested at a traffic stop, where police found he had been carrying a loaded handgun.

In addition, four others with connections to the Warlocks were also arrested: Elizabeth McKnight, 46, Emanuel Lapoint, 42, Richard Williams, and Blair MacNeil, 32.

It’s hoped the arrests and seizures will affect the club that has roots in the United States.

“I really do believe that this is seriously going to affect this group, taking this amount of firepower away from them, taking the drugs away, letting them know we’re really after them,” Strang said.

The eight people arrested are facing a total of 77 drug and weapons-related charges.

With files from David Ewasuk