In connection to a long-running drug trafficking investigation in the city, Red Deer RCMP have arrested a dozen people – and laid charges against 16.

It’s believed the arrests are a major step forward in making the area safer, by disrupting two local chapters of national organized crime groups.

All sixteen are facing trafficking charges for heroin and cocaine, and some are also facing drug possession charges.

The following have been arrested and charged, Achein Lazro, 28, Ryan Monias, 21, Gabriel Agotic, 28, Justin Poteet, 18, Lee Jay Johnson, 28, Navarone Oldpan (a.k.a. Wapass), 23, Anthony Cromastey, 23, Mayom Mayom, 24, Ojullo Ojullo, 18, Tyler Dahl, 19, Achuil Chol, 25, and Zachary Ovid, 19.

Their court appearances have been scheduled from late July, to mid-September in Red Deer.

RCMP are still looking for four suspects, and have issued arrest warrants – all for cocaine trafficking:

  • Marce Kusha, 31
  • Vu Khac Diep, 27
  • Angelo Guot, 24
  • Jeanette Dupont, 38

Police said the area has seen an increase in gang activity in the area, as more people are living in central Alberta – and as a result more people are buying illicit drugs, and therefore supporting the gangs.

The investigation was done with cooperation from the Red Deer RCMP’s Street Team, the RCMP Organized Crime Section, Crime Reduction unit and Edmonton’s ALERT Unit.

Canada Border Services and Revenue Canada also helped in the investigation.

Officers would not disclose the names of the two gangs involved.

With files from Sean Amato