Wabasca gang charges

Submitted

Several alleged members of the A$AP street gang have been charged with drug and firearms offences. The arrests came via joint investigations between ALERT, Wabasca RCMP, and RCMP Criminal Intelligence.

ALERT Edmonton’s Integrated Gang Enforcement Team made the arrests following a recent deployment to the Wabasca-Desmarais area to help address gang concerns in the community.

On March 5, 2024, a vehicle stop was conducted. ALERT seized a loaded sawed-off shotgun and quantities of cocaine and fentanyl.

Two known A$AP gang members – a 29-year-old and a 41-year-old, both from Wabasca, were charged with drug trafficking and firearms offences:

The following day, March 6, 2024, another traffic stop yielded a seizure of approximately 100 grams of cocaine. Two of the vehicle’s occupants are known A$AP gang members and were charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

This time it was a pair of 26-year-old Wabasca residents.

A third suspect, a 34-year-old from Wabasca, is also facing drug charges.

A$AP, which stands for Always Strive and Prosper, is a street gang spread across northern and central Alberta, and correctional institutions. Their criminal activities are connected to drug trafficking, home invasions, robberies, stolen property, and are known to rely on violence.

A$AP gang members will often wear grey and white clothing, often stylized with the gang name or slogans to show allegiance to the gang and to intimidate others.

“A$AP isn’t shy about allowing their presence being known in the community, which is used as a tool for recruitment and intimidation. Meanwhile, their community is struggling with addiction issues that are perpetuated by gang activity,” says Insp. Angela Kemp, ALERT Edmonton.

The Bigstone Cree Nation, which encompasses the area, had declared a state of local emergency in January 2024, due in part to the ongoing addiction and crime issues.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

“This operation makes it evident that the amount of effort and co-operation put forth by our local RCMP officers and ALERT has netted outstanding results. Working together, sharing intelligence, and developing enforcement strategies have made our community safer by taking drugs and guns off the street,” says Sgt. Colin Thorne of the Wabasca RCMP.

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