In January 2023, the Saskatchewan RCMP's Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT) in Swift Current and the Swift Current RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS) launched an investigation into the inter-provincial drug trafficking activities of 41-year-old Keenan Leith Ireland.
Over the coming months, investigators worked in collaboration and corroborated information to better locate and identify Ireland's whereabouts and activities. Based on the information gathered, Ireland believed to be actively trafficking drugs into southern Saskatchewan from Alberta. Through investigative techniques, officers were able to determine he was located in the village of Hodgeville, SK.
On March 23, 2023, Swift Current STRT, Swift Current GIS and Morse RCMP executed a search warrant at a property located on the 100th block of 2nd Ave East in Hodgeville.
Ireland was located at the residence and arrested without incident. A search of the property resulted in police locating a sum of cash, 2.5 kg of methamphetamine, 1 kg of fentanyl, 0.5 kg of cocaine and between 40-50 small vials cannabis resin.
A second seizure was executed the same day at a residence located on the 100th block of Grey Street in Swift Current. There were no occupants at the time the search warrant was executed. A search of the residence resulted in officers locating approximately 9 ounces of methamphetamine and about half an ounce of cocaine.
"Fentanyl is a very potent opioid pain reliever and is sometimes mixed with other street drugs. It can take many forms: a colourful powder, chunks, pills or patches. The fentanyl seized as part of this investigation was multi-coloured," says Superintendent Glenn Church, Officer in Charge of the Saskatchewan RCMP Saskatchewan Enforcement Response Team (SERT). "A few grains of fentanyl can be enough to kill you – I hope the quantity we have seized in this investigation can help to paint a picture of the magnitude of the danger this drug leaves in our communities if it is untraced. This was a significant seizure which will greatly impact the supply of the lethal drugs originally destined for southwest Saskatchewan."
As a result of this investigation, Keenan Leith Ireland of Hodgeville, SK is charged with:
- Trafficking fentanyl, Sec. 5(1) CDSA;
- Trafficking methamphetamine, Sec. 5(1) CDSA;
- Trafficking cocaine, Sec. 5(1) CDSA;
- Possession for the purpose of trafficking fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine, Sec. 5(2) CDSA; and
- Possessing the proceeds of crime over $5,000, contrary to Sec. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
Ireland made his first appearance in Swift Current Provincial Court on March 24, 2023, and is scheduled to appear next via CCTV on March 29, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.
The investigation is ongoing.
Getting dangerous illicit drugs off the street continues to be a top priority for the Saskatchewan RCMP. If you have information about drug trafficking in your area, you can report it to your local detachment by calling 310-RCMP. Information can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1‐800‐222‐TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. For more information on ways to protect yourself, or someone you know, when using illicit drugs, read Saskatchewan RCMP renews warnings about the dangers of illicit drugs after recent overdoses.
The Saskatchewan Enforcement Response Team (SERT) consists of Saskatchewan RCMP's Crime Reduction Team (CRT) and Warrant Enforcement Suppression Team (WEST), as well as the Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT). SERT will help the Saskatchewan RCMP continue to fulfil its mandate as the province's police force – keeping our communities safe. STRT's objective is to stop or disrupt inter and intra-provincial criminal groups involved in the trafficking of controlled substances and firearms, as well as human trafficking.