Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2009
Source: Airdrie City View (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 Airdrie City View Ltd.
Author: Stacie Snow


On Jan. 5, Airdrie RCMP arrested a 22-year-old man, during the
investigation of a suspicious motor vehicle in the Towerlane Mall
parking lot. He had six grams of marihuana, cash and a cell phone on

After searching the suspect's home in Summerhill, officers recovered
more marihuana, cash, a digital scale, drug trafficking paraphernalia,
a safe, and an imitation Glock .45 calibre pistol.

"It is common practice for individuals who are allegedly involved in
drug trafficking to have imitation and real weapons on them," said
Airdrie RCMP Cst. Francine Hennelly.

She added that there were no charges laid for the imitation weapon but
it was ceased by police.

In total, police seized approximately 58 grams (roughly two ounces) of
marihuana and $1,325 in cash during the investigation. The marihuana
would have yielded roughly 290 consumable joints of marihuana at a
street value of about $580.

The suspect has been released to appear in Airdrie Provincial Court on
Feb. 26 to address charges of possession of a controlled substance for
the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.

Police are not releasing his name until his first court

City fighting crime

Airdrie alderman Shawn Howard, founder of the Canadian Justice
Foundation, says that he is not surprised to hear that this type of
activity is taking place in our community, but he is saddened by the

"Airdrie has more disposable income than some of the surrounding
communities and that makes it attractive to people who are trying to
sell drugs," said Howard.

He added that he is happy to see that the RCMP was able to catch this
particular individual and he hopes that the local judge that hears the
case will, "hand him down a sentence to show him and others like him
that we do not tolerate that kind of activity here."

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act states that the charge of
possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking
under three kilograms can result in a sentence of up to five years.

Howard said that this incident is not isolated and it is not out of
the realm of possibilities for gang activity to move into Airdrie.

"This incident may be an early indicator of that because most people
who are part of the drug trade are part of an organization," he said.
"A lot of times when people see something like this, they think it is
innocent drug activity or that it was only one person so it can't be a
gang, but drugs are not harmless and the gang wars we see on the
streets of Calgary are all about control of drug territory. Drug
activity is not harmless, it fuels violence."

He added that although Airdrie is a prime target, the City is making
it harder for criminals to move into town by using proactive measures
such as implementing the Community Resource Officer program that will
place RCMP officers in schools and other youth organizations to point
youth in the right direction and help them avoid being sucked in by
the gang lifestyle.

"Airdrie is a community where the residents are closely connected to
the police and it is hard for these criminals to hide, which is the
last thing they want," said Howard.

He added that people can take proactive measures to ensure that crime
doesn't escalate by reporting any suspicious behaviour in their
neighbourhoods to the RCMP.

"Ultimately, the police can not be everywhere and if people see
activity going on in their community, they need to make sure they are
providing tips to prevent the activity on Calgary's streets from
spilling over to Airdrie." Hennelly also encourages residents to
report any suspicious activity from vandalism, to drug activity to

"Time and time again assistance from the public has been key and
resulted in successful efforts by the police," she said.

If you would like to report suspicious activity to the Airdrie RCMP,
call 403- 945-7200.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin