Last Updated: Monday, June 8, 2009 12:57 PM MT
Calgary police say they have netted the largest total cocaine seizure in Alberta's history.
Click to view image: 'cocaine photo 1'
Click to view image: 'cocaine photo 2'
Police announced Monday that they arrested 14 people and seized 80 kilograms of cocaine over the course of a year-long investigation into drug trafficking by an organized crime group.
They also seized four handguns, a rifle and $330,000 in cash. The cocaine would be worth $8 million on the streets, police said.
Police nicknamed the investigation "Operation High Noon" and focused their efforts on a crime network that allegedly transported large volumes of cocaine from British Columbia to Alberta.
The investigation began in January of 2008 when police twice seized cocaine from a home on Hawthorne Drive in northwest Calgary. Two men, one from Calgary and the other from Victoria, were arrested and charged.
Police continued to investigate and eventually arrested 12 more people, all but one from Calgary. They each face multiple drug related charges, although two were recently charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
"Over a several-month period, these individuals are alleged to have used a number of vehicles with hidden compartments to transport drugs between the provinces. It was during the transport that police were able to stop these vehicles and seize another 13 kilograms of cocaine," said Drug Unit Staff Sgt. Darren Cave, reading from a statement.
"In addition, police executed numerous search warrants and recovered the packaging for an additional 20 kilograms of cocaine that reflects the level and sophistication of the group in moving more than 100 kilograms of this drug."
Officers from Victoria, Vancouver, Lethbridge and Edmonton and RCMP in Cranbrook and Osoyoos, B.C. helped with the investigation.
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