red deer advocate, july 29, 2014

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July 29, 2014 edition of the Red Deer Advocate

TRANSCRIPT

  • BY MURRAY CRAWFORDADVOCATE STAFF

    A two-month drug investigation has led to the arrest of four people, and the seizure of more than 1.4 kg of drugs and various guns.

    Police believe there are links to a notorious and violent Vancou-ver-based gang. At the centre of this in-vestigation is Cory James Lesperance, 29, who police believe to be a member of the Red Scorpions gang.

    Three others Robin Joseph Stew-art, 52, Nicholas David James White, 21, and Amber McLeod, 23 were ar-rested in a joint three-city raid by Red Deer RCMP, Calgary Police, Airdrie RCMP and the Alberta Law Enforce-ment Response Team on Wednesday. Warrants were executed on residences in Airdrie, Calgary and Red Deer.

    Stewart and Lesperance were ar-rested at a residence in the Balmoral Heights subdivision, just east of Red Deer. The residence is the same one where a triple shooting occurred in March 2013. White and McLeod were arrested at a residence in Calgary.

    We conducted this investigation to address the drug trafficking activities of the Red Scorpions and their pres-ence in Southern and Central Alber-ta, said Red Deer RCMP Cpl. Sarah Knelsen, during a press conference on Monday at the downtown detachment.

    Lesperance, originally from British Columbia, was the primary target of the investigation.

    He is alleged to be a member of the Red Scorpions and is alleged to be the centre of a drug trafficking operation in Alberta, said Knelsen.

    Initiated by the Red Deer RCMP Street Team in June, other enforce-ment teams were brought on board to expedite the investigation.

    TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014

    Your trusted local news authority www.reddeeradvocate.com

    Two sectionsAlberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A3Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . A8,A9Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A5,A6Classified . . . . . . . . . . .B8-B11Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A11Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . .A10Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B5-B7

    INDEX

    PLEASE RECYCLE

    PMO defends recognition of icon

    The prime ministers office is dismissing accusations that it is erasing a feminist icon from Canadas public history

    Story on PAGE A5FORECAST ON A2

    WEATHER Sunny. High 29. Low 13.

    Red Deer Advocate

    Top chefs showcase local food

    TASTE OF MARKERVILLE

    A11

    Scorpions stung Province breaks promise on

    salary freeze

    KOREAN WAR VETERANS DAY

    Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

    Korean War Veterans Day was commemorated in Red Deer on Monday. About a dozen veterans and family members joined Red Deer citizens in Veterans Park to honour Canadian Armed Forces members who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Korean War from 1950-53.

    RCMP ARREST MAN BELIEVED TO BE A MEMBER OF A NOTORIOUS, VIOLENT VANCOUVER-BASED GANG, THE RED SCORPIONS

    Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

    RCMP Cpl. Sarah Knelsen and Sgt. Martin Chiaretti of Calgary and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team attend a news conference at Red Deer RCMP headquarters on Monday afternoon.Please see GANG on Page A2

    BY DEAN BENNETTTHE CANADIAN PRESS

    EDMONTON The Alberta gov-ernment acknowledged Monday that it broke its promise to freeze salaries for top managers and has instead given them seven per cent raises.

    That will boost salaries for top civil servants to more than $300,000 a year by 2016.

    Government spokeswoman Jessica Jacobs-Mino said while the govern-ment promised in 2013 to freeze sala-ries for three years, things changed this spring when the government struck a deal with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

    That deal provides an $1,850 lump-sum payment and a 6.75 per cent salary increase over three years.

    Jacobs-Mino said the governments standard practice has been to give the same deal to managers as that given to unionized staff.

    Were looking at treating all public servants fairly here, said Jacobs-Mi-no. Its crass politics to try to pit one level of public servant against another.

    We value them all.The government was not legally

    bound to boost the salaries of senior managers, but its consistent with what weve done in the past, she said.

    The union represents rank-and-file employees from prison guards to social workers. It ratified a new contract last month after more than a year of bitter debate with and court action against the province.

    GANG TIMELINE A2

    GIVES TOP MANAGERS 7 PER

    CENT BOOST

    Please see SALARY on Page A3

    Sharks ready to sink their teeth into Manhattan

    PAGE A7

  • A2 RED DEER ADVOCATE Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    5065

    4H2

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    whatYOU PAYYOU PAYWE PAYWE PAY

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    2014 CHEVROLET EQUINOX AWD

    YOU PAY WHAT WE PAY ON 2014 MODELSs Corvette

    2014 CHEVROLET EQUINOX AWDEVROLET EQUI

    PAY WHAT Wexcludes Corvette

    *Price includes NSC and Loyalty. Cost of borrowing at 4.99% is $5383

    was $30,570 Now $26,775*or Finance for $95/week (Stk#30579)

    PLANTER PAINTER

    GANG: Members in Alberta for past two years

    Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said Lesperance has ties to the lower mainland area of B.C., where the Red Scorpions gang started.

    Demonstrated by the weapons seized, it is clear these individuals were willing and able to resort to violence, said Schiavetta. This should be a relief to people in these communities that these individuals are in custody.

    The reality is many of B.C.s gang members are coming to Alberta to escape violence and threats of violence because in gang life, there are only three ways out death, jail or the long arduous task of ex-iting the game, said Schiavetta.

    We believe this particular gang has had members in Alberta for the past two years.

    Schiavetta said gangs see Alberta as a lucrative market for the expansion because of the amount of disposable income here.

    We had individuals residing in Calgary using Airdrie as a place where they would stash firearms and drugs and then subsequently would bring those commodities up to Red Deer for distribution, said Schiavetta, adding their information was that most of the drugs were coming from B.C.

    We believe there are other individuals associ-ated to this gang and were going through our intelli-gence and our investigation to look at any other pos-sible avenues of investigation for additional people.

    Among the items police found at the three resi-dences were 512 grams of methamphetamine, 517 grams of cocaine, 52 grams of heroin, 264 grams of marijuana, 80 grams of psilocybin (magic mush-rooms), 130 ml of anabolic steroids, a cocaine con-version lab, scales, packaging, drug paraphernalia, a loaded semi-automatic handgun, a stolen shotgun with ammunition, three replica handguns, $8,955 in cash and two vehicles.

    I think this is a significant dent in this organiza-tion, said Schiavetta. This is what they had at the present time when the search warrants were execut-ed. Its a snapshot into their daily activity.

    Lesperance was charged with five counts of pos-session for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a firearm without a licence, possession of stolen prop-erty over $5,000, possession of a prohibited weapon

    and five counts of breaching an undertaking or re-cognizance.

    Stewart was charged with five counts of posses-sion for the purpose of trafficking, breach of an undertaking or recognizance, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and possession of a prohibited firearm.

    White has been charged with three counts of pos-session for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and two counts of

    breaching an undertaking or recognizance.McLeod has been charged with three counts of

    possession for the purpose of trafficking and posses-sion of stolen property over $5,000.

    All four will appear in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday morning.

    Both Lesperance and White have preliminary in-quiries scheduled for Jan. 27, 2015, on charges from a November 2013 arrest. That investigation, conducted by both Innisfail and Red Deer RCMP, led to arrests made in both communities. They both face drug and gun-related charges. Both were released from cus-tody on recognizance orders with strict conditions, including weapons prohibitions.

    Lesperance and Stewart were arrested on Wednesday at 55 Balmoral Heights.

    Two other people were arrested after the March 2013 triple shooting at that same location in an in-cident that police are not relating to Wednesdays arrests. Those two people have a continuation of a preliminary inquiry scheduled for November.

    mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

    STORIES FROM PAGE A1

    LOTTERIES

    Calgary: today, sun-ny. High 30. Low 15.

    Olds, Sundre: today, mainly sunny. High 30. Low 9.

    Rocky, Nordegg: today, mainly sunny. High 28. Low 8.

    Banff: today, increas-ing cloudiness. High 29. Low 8.

    Jasper: today, sunny. High 31. Low 7.

    Lethbridge: today, sunny. High 34. Low 13.

    Edmonton: today, mainly sunny. High 29. Low 13.

    Grande Prairie: to-day, 30% showers. High 32. Low 13.

    Fort McMurray: to-day, sunny. High 31. Low 16.

    LOCAL TODAY TONIGHT WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY

    REGIONAL OUTLOOK

    WINDCHILL/SUNLIGHT

    GRANDEPRAIRIE32/13

    JASPER31/7

    BANFF29/8

    EDMONTON29/13

    RED DEER29/13

    CALGARY30/15

    FORT MCMURRAY31/16

    MONDAY Extra: 2197015

    Pick 3: 500Numbers are unofficial

    Sunny. Clear. Sunny. Sunny. Low 11. Sunny. Low 13.HIGH 29 LOW 13 HIGH 30 HIGH 27 HIGH 28

    TONIGHTS HIGHS/LOWS

    LETHBRIDGE34/13

    W