Sheriffs shut down Whitecourt drug house

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order authorizing them to close this property in Whitecourt due to drug activity on the premises.

The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit of the Alberta Sheriffs obtained a court order against the owners of 20 Baly Rd. in Whitecourt, banning anyone from the premises for 90 days and placing conditions on the property until December 2022.

The community safety order granted in Court of Queen’s Bench took effect at noon on March 29, giving sheriffs the authority to board up the house, change the locks and erect a fence around the property. Nobody is allowed on the property without permission from the sheriffs until the closure ends on June 27.

“When criminals endanger the safety and well-being of law-abiding Albertans, we must act to end these dangerous activities. This case is a good example of how police and the Alberta Sheriffs can work together in communities throughout Alberta to stop criminal activity and ensure people feel safe in their homes and their neighbourhoods.”

Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

SCAN’s investigation began in response to multiple complaints about drug activity received from the community between October and December 2020.

During that time, the property was the subject of two police investigations. Search warrants carried out by the RCMP in October and Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) in December resulted in police seizing quantities of methamphetamine, crack cocaine, GHB and drug paraphernalia.

After SCAN’s investigation substantiated the complaints about drug activity at the property, investigators successfully applied for a community safety order, which was granted by a Court of Queen’s Bench justice on March 15.

After the property is handed back to the property owners, they are prohibited from having any additional tenants or visitors without prior approval from SCAN for the duration of the community safety order, which expires on Dec. 27, 2022.

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 90 community safety orders. The majority of complaints are resolved by working with property owners to keep criminal activity out of the community.