Friday, October 3, 2014

Edmonton | Arrests made in massive $9.3M steroid seizure

Four people have been arrested in connection with a seizure of illegal steroids that Edmonton police believe may be the largest in Canadian history.

When Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) executed search warrants on three homes and two storage lockers on Wednesday, they seized 360,000 pills, 10,000 vials, 120 kilograms of raw steroid powder and more than three dozen types of chemicals and additives.

ALERT also seized 30 litres of liquid drug precursors, 1,250 kilograms of various raw chemical powders, $88,000 cash and four high-end vehicles.

A video posted by ALERT to YouTube after the raids shows officers in blue and white hazmat suits unpacking and testing samples at an undisclosed location.

Two of the homes were operating as manufacturing laboratories, and a variety of equipment was also seized. One of them was just metres away from an elementary school, Tucker said.

"This was a highly sophisticated, underground steroid manufacturing and distribution operation," ALERT Edmonton Insp. Darcy Strang said at a news conference Thursday.

The steroids seized were valued at approximately $9.3 million, police said, and were intended for use toward muscle growth, not medical purposes.

Approximately two dozen police officers were involved in the investigation. As a result of the raids, four people have been arrested and are facing possession and trafficking charges.

The group is allegedly responsible for distributing steroids across Canada, Strang said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

"These investigators have literally cut the head off the snake."

Jeremy Luke, director of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, said that the amount of drugs seized shows that there must be a high demand for the drugs in the country.

"It's very shocking and certainly very disturbing from the perspective of that amount of steroids coming in to Canada," Luke told CTV News Channel Thursday, though he said he doesn't know where the drugs might have been headed.

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