In October 2020, the Saskatchewan RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit (FSOC) based in Regina, Saskatchewan, began an investigation into a sophisticated crime group that was distributing large quantities of drugs to numerous communities across Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan communities affected included both larger centers such as Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw as well as a number of smaller communities in rural Saskatchewan like Assiniboia, Marquis, Mossbank, Caronport, Hudson Bay, Limerick, Craven and Lloydminster.
As part of the extensive investigation, over 7,000 dedicated hours of surveillance were conducted in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan; over sixty judicial authorizations were executed; seven individuals were criminally charged; and a significant amount of illicit drugs and currency seized.
These seizures included:
- 397.5 grams of cocaine and 2.97 kilograms of methamphetamine near Chamberlain, SK
- 452.7 grams of cocaine in Fort McMurray, AB
- 1,540 grams of Meclonazepam (approximately 5,000 fake Xanax pills) in Edmonton, AB
- A subsequent search warrant was executed at another location in Edmonton, AB, and investigators found an additional 7,662.21 grams of Meclonazepam (approximately 25,000 fake Xanax pills), 40.01 grams of cocaine, 659.49 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms), 39.54 grams of MDMA and $123,652 in Canadian currency
Police have laid 70 criminal charges in relation to this investigation, including conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance, trafficking in a controlled substance and property obtained by crime.
The accused: Travis Ferko of Edmonton, AB; Cody Klemola of Edmonton, AB; Matteo Cimino of St. Albert, AB; Jennifer Tabunar of Edmonton, AB; Joel Gladue of Edmonton, AB; and Cong Su of Vaughn, ON, will make their first appearances in Provincial Court in Regina on June 21, 2022.
Police continue to look for 48-year-old-Michael Bagan of Edmonton, AB in relation to this ongoing investigation. The latest description that police have of Bagan is as follows: he is 6'1" tall, approximately 216 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
"The negative impact this group had on people in Saskatchewan and Alberta is immeasurable. These types of groups profit by poisoning our people and our communities – both in big cities and small towns. We're really pleased to have taken these harmful substances out of our communities," said Inspector Andrew Farquhar of the RCMP's Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit in Regina.
The complexity and scope of this investigation required assistance from several Federal, Provincial and Municipal law enforcement agencies across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Assisting agencies included the Regina Integrated Intelligence Unit, Saskatoon FSOC, Saskatchewan RCMP Crime Analysis Section, Regina Police Service, Moose Jaw Police Service, Moose Jaw RCMP, Lumsden RCMP, Weyburn Police Service, Estevan RCMP, Assiniboia RCMP, Edmonton FSOC, Strathcona County RCMP, Edmonton Integrated Border Enforcement Team, Edmonton Police Service Gang Suppression Team, Edmonton ALERT, Fort McMurray ALERT, Lloydminster ALERT, Red Deer General Investigation Section, Toronto FSOC, Cold Lake General Investigation Section, Public Prosecution Service of Canada (in Saskatchewan and Alberta), the Canadian Border Services Agency, FINTRAC, as well as other specialized RCMP units and personnel.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Michael Bagan is asked to contact their local police service, RCMP Detachment or the Saskatchewan RCMP at 310-RCMP. Information can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.