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Thursday , 21 January 2021

“Drug house” in Smoky Lake County boarded up, shut down by Alberta Sheriffs

Alberta Sheriffs have shut down a “a drug house” in Smoky Lake County after obtaining a court order against the property owners on Tuesday.

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs were granted a community safety order in Court of Queen’s Bench at the property of 12-13239 Township Road 615, the provincial government said Tuesday.

This includes a 90-day closure that began at noon on Dec. 15 and the property being under supervision for five years.

“We believe in giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need to protect Albertans and keep them safe, no matter where they live,” said Justice Minister Kaycee Madu in a press release.

“SCAN investigations are an effective way of stopping criminal activity that endangers communities by holding owners accountable for what happens on their property.”

Crews have boarded up the home, changed the locks and erected a fence around the property to prevent anyone from entering until March 11, 2021, the government said.

The SCAN investigation began in August 2019, in response to complaints about drug activity.

While working with the RCMP, SCAN saw evidence during the investigation that included drug trafficking paraphernalia and weapons seized during searches of the property, the government said.

SCAN previously investigated the property in 2016 and wrote a warning letter to the owners, who had a relative living on the premises at the time.

The property sat vacant for periods over the next two years, but complaints about renewed drug activity in 2019 prompted the most recent SCAN investigation, they said.

After the property is turned back over to the owners in March 2021, it will be monitored for the duration of the community safety order, which expires in December 2025.

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.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.