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Ten facing hundreds of charges after ALERT organized crime bust
An extensive months-long investigation by ALERT, Edmonton police and RCMP has resulted in hundreds of charges laid against ten suspects, and the recovery of more than $1 million in stolen property.
The investigation started in October, 2015 – and resulted in fifteen search warrants being carried out in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Alberta Beach, Gunn, Onoway, Morinville, Legal, Ryley, Sherwood Park, Red Deer, St. Albert and in Langley, B.C.
Thirteen of those searches were carried out simultaneously on May 12, two others took place on May 19 and 25 – the investigation, dubbed Project Al-Wheels, resulted in more than $1 million worth in stolen property recovered, and 21 firearms seized.
Recovered stolen property included: 17 travel trailers, 3 pick-up trucks, six all-terrain vehicles, a snowmobile, two dirt bikes, eighteen rifles, two shotguns and a handgun.
Ten suspects were arrested, including two Hells Angels members: Julie Roussel, 58 and Christopher Escott, 32, both of Edmonton.
Other suspects arrested as part of the investigation include Lawrence Cotter, 41, and Laura Hawkridge, 41, both of Alberta Beach, Bobby Dodman, 42, of Red Deer, Mark Funk, 38, from St. Albert, Jacob Jenkins, 38, of Gunn, Kane Laplante-Racine, 29, of Strathcona County, Frank Preeper, 42, of Morinville, and Anthony Shaw, 56, who had no fixed address, but was arrested in Grande Prairie.
The accused share more than 300 criminal charges related to stolen property and firearms.
It’s believed the vehicles were being stolen from area homes and businesses and then being registered fraudulently. Then, those vehicles would be sold at a discount to Hells Angels members and their associates.
It’s also believed insurance fraud was being committed.