Pubdate: Mon, 15 Nov 2004
Source: Parklander, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 Hinton Parklander
Author: Dan Palmer
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Hinton Parklander -- Cops fear there could be violence in the wake of
authorities shattering a northern Alberta drug trafficking network,
whose alleged key player is still being sought by police.

"There's always a potential," Staff Sgt. Al Sauve said yesterday,
after the Integrated Response to Organized Crime team announced a
nine-month investigation netted eight arrests and $376,380-worth of
illicit drugs.

The cost of the investigation was up to $1-million but Insp. Joe
Loran, a Mountie on the IROC squad said the value comes from arresting
the group and smashing the drug network.

"I think it's an excellent return on investment," said Loran.

It was the first Edmonton-related IROC project to have arrests,
following two others with links to Calgary.

Sauve, a city cop who's part of the joint forces team, said more than
one person may try to move in to fill the vacuum left in the drug
network, which has tentacles in Edmonton, Hinton, Sherwood Park,
Grande Prairie, Edson, Spruce Grove, Drayton Valley, St. Albert and

"There might be competition for that supply of drugs," said Sauve,
adding police services in those communities have been alerted to the
potential for violence.

Following seven arrests on Monday, the IROC team is still trying to
find Rory Buzzell, a 35-year-old man cops allege is a "key component
of this drug distribution network."

Buzzell served three years in the late '90s after being convicted of
offences including forcible confinement and theft over $5,000, said
federal parole officials.

"Extreme caution should be used when dealing with Buzzell, as he is
considered potentially armed and dangerous," said Loran. Buzzell also
uses the aliases Leo Getz, Gary Buzzell and Dwayne Sand, said Loran.

The IROC investigation began in March. Seven people were arrested
without incident on Monday in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Saskatoon and
Spruce Grove.

Drugs seized

During the probe, IROC seized 3.3 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated
$43,200, 22.2 pounds of meth worth about $283,600, 4.5 pounds of
hashish worth around $27,200, 6.25 pounds of marijuana worth about
$12,160, and 511 tablets of ecstasy worth about $10,220.

Drayton Valley Mayor Diana McQueen applauded IROC's work despite the
$1-million cost to operate the probe.

"For me it's worth it, if we can save the lives of kids," said
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