Investigators with the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order closing the house at 12005 96 Street for 90 days and placing the property under conditions and supervision for two years after that.
The order took effect at noon Sept. 19, and states that the owner and any other occupants must vacate the premises for 90 days. Crews boarded up the house, changed the locks and erected a fence around the property to prevent anyone from entering during the closure period.
“Our government is committed to taking any measures necessary to investigate, disrupt and dismantle serious criminal activity like the trade in illicit drugs. We value the SCAN unit and have the utmost appreciation for its tireless work in ensuring Albertans are safe, secure and protected in their communities.”
Under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, a complaint from the public is the only way SCAN can launch a formal investigation. In response to a complaint from the community about drug activity, SCAN began its investigation in December 2018. SCAN investigators confirmed drug activity and issued a warning letter to the owner, who resides there, on Dec. 13, 2018.
Since then, there has been evidence of continued criminal activity at the property. The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has responded to two home invasions – one in April 2019 and another in July 2019. In March 2019, EPS investigators obtained a search warrant for the property and seized drugs, a sawed-off shotgun, imitation firearms and other weapons. The search warrant resulted in criminal charges against the homeowner. The case remains before the courts.
On July 29, 2019, SCAN investigators obtained a community safety order in Court of Queen’s Bench. The order remains in effect for two years after the closure period, giving SCAN the authority to monitor the property and enforce conditions until Nov. 19, 2021.
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 5,500 problem properties and issued nearly 80 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.
SCAN Insp. Chip Sawchuk will be available at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 for on-camera interviews at 12005 96 Street, Edmonton.