Edmonton men charged after $150,000 crack seizure in Lethbridge

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter) & Patrick Burles (@PatrickBurles)
October 4, 2017 - 9:24am Updated: October 4, 2017 - 3:20pm

LETHBRIDGE – Two Edmonton men face charges after a large quantity of crack cocaine was seized in Lethbridge.

The $150,000 seizure all started with a tip from the public in July. ALERT Lethbridge said that on Friday, Sept. 27, police arrested one suspect and searched a vehicle and a home on the 300 block of 13 Street South. They seized more than 1.5 kg of crack cocaine that had already been packaged for sale, with more than $8,000 in cash, cell phones, and a small amount of pot.

A second man turned himself in Tuesday, Oct. 3, after a warrant was issued.

Abel Gebeyehu, 19, and Brandon Ferguson, 21, are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. Gebeyehu is also charged with possession of marijuana, and proceeds of crime.

Staff Sgt. Jason Walper called it a significant bust, and one that should have an impact on city streets.

“Certainly, crack cocaine has, obviously, a short-term and a long-term effect on anybody that's a user of these types of drugs,” said Walper. “Also, it will hopefully decrease crime, because as we all know, drug related crimes also cause other crimes, such as property related crimes and ancillary offences that are caused to feed those drug habits.”

Walper noted that while the investigation is ongoing, police believe the two individuals are part of a larger organization. He added that the fact the two men are from Edmonton shows the mobility of such organizations in their spread across the province.

“We're always looking to take the head off the snake,” Walper continued. “We're always there to try and push our way up the food chain, and not only just stop the street level distribution, but also stop the distribution at the higher end to stop that from getting to suppliers.

“We're always in contact with our Edmonton partners, which again is why ALERT is here. We have a team here, we have a team in Edmonton. So, we will be talking to our Edmonton teams and providing them whatever assistance we can to further any possible investigation at their end.”

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