Sheriffs shutter Red Deer drug house

Alberta Sheriffs have closed a property in Red Deer that was a haven for ongoing drug activity

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order that took effect at noon on Sept. 18, closing the property at 75 Patterson Crescent for 90 days.

The community safety order granted in Court of Queen’s Bench gave sheriffs the authority to board up the house, change the locks and erect a fence around the property. Nobody is allowed back on the property until Dec. 17, 2020.

“I want to commend law enforcement for taking decisive action to shut down the illegal and dangerous drug activity that endangers law-abiding Albertans,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

“The Government of Alberta has been clear that these activities have no place in our neighbourhoods. Alberta’s government will ensure law enforcement has the tools to protect our communities, and the SCAN unit has proven to be an effective way of targeting criminal activity by taking action against property owners who enable it.”

The SCAN unit began its investigation in fall 2019, in response to complaints from the community about drug activity on the property. During their investigation, SCAN members observed multiple drug transactions and an excessive number of people visiting the property on foot and by bicycle.

Criminal activity associated with the property has also been a concern for the Red Deer RCMP, which responded to 51 calls there between January 2019 and July 2020.

In July 2020, the RCMP executed a search warrant on the property and seized a small amount of fentanyl. Investigators found used needles in and around the property and scattered near three backyard sheds that appeared to be used for injecting drugs.

“We are very pleased with the successful outcome. Our partnership with SCAN is a valuable tool in reducing crime in our city, and we look forward to working with them in the future,” said Insp. Holly Glassford, Red Deer RCMP.

On Sept. 9, SCAN obtained a community safety order against the property owner that will remain in effect until Sept. 9, 2021. SCAN investigators will continue to monitor the property for the duration.

The SCAN unit works with other law enforcement agencies to shut down properties being used for illegal activities. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act gives sheriffs the authority to target problem properties through civil enforcement.

Since its inception in 2008, Alberta’s SCAN unit has investigated more than 5,800 problem properties and issued more than 80 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.

Alberta Sheriff photo