'Problem property' in northeast Edmonton seized by Alberta Sheriffs

Alberta Sheriffs have shuttered a northeast Edmonton rental suite that was allegedly serving as an unsanctioned drug treatment facility for methamphetamine addicts.

A court-sanctioned community safety order that took effect on Wednesday gave investigators with the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods unit the authority to bar occupants from the suite for 90 days.

The order was carried out after the tenant told an investigator he was operating an “informal drug treatment centre” in the home. The tenant was using methamphetamine and supplying the drug to others, SCAN said in a news release.

Officers began investigating the suite near 151st Avenue and 43rd Street in March, following a complaint from the public.

Drugs, guns, a false call

During the investigation, officers warned the owner that investigators would obtain a court order if drug activity continued, the news release said.

In August, a woman high on methamphetamine called police about a home invasion at the property. There was a standoff with a police tactical unit before officers realized the woman’s report was false.

In the course of its own investigations, police found weapons on the property, including a prohibited firearm, knives and replica firearms.

Continued drug activity prompted SCAN to apply for an order in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench.

During the 90-day order, the owner is allowed access to the premises, and contractors are permitted to carry out repairs and renovations if they’re accompanied by the landlord, the news release said.

After the closure ends on Jan. 21, the owner will be required to take “all reasonable steps” to prevent further drug activity at the property, SCAN said.

Court orders are tools used to target “problem properties” to help “keep criminal activity out of the community,” SCAN said in the news release.  

“Our government will use all measures at our disposal to protect neighbourhoods from gangs and illicit drug activity,” Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said in a statement.

“I want to thank the SCAN unit for the vital work it does to keep Albertans safe, secure and protected in their homes.”

Since 2008, the unit has investigated more than 5,500 problem properties and issued almost 80 community safety orders.

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