FreeWheelers motorcycle gang, newly moved into Prince Albert, behind cocaine, pot trafficking: police
SASKATOON -- Three full-patch members of the FreeWheelers outlaw motorcycle gang have been involved in trafficking cocaine and marijuana in Prince Albert and the surrounding rural area, police say.
A seven-month investigation – called Project NORSE – by Prince Albert Police Service, Prince Albert RCMP and other agencies led to the arrest of 11 people with connections to outlaw motorcycle gangs, along with the seizure of a significant amount of cash, drugs and weapons, police announced Wednesday.
A search of 13 homes in Prince Albert, the surrounding area and Saskatoon resulted in the seizure of nearly $87,000 in cash, three rifles, one shotgun, and six vehicles worth an estimated $116,000
Investigators seized 596 grams of cocaine, a cocaine press, 9,279 grams of cannabis bud and 33 cannabis plants, according to police.
Police also found 2.1 kg grams of individually-packaged cannabis by-products, including butter, resin, hash, and vape cigarettes destined for sale on the illegal drug market.
Police estimate the cocaine seized during the investigation would amount to 1,200 personal uses, while the cannabis bud could make an estimated 36,000 joints. The total cannabis resin seized would be enough for 1,900 sales.
Several others with connections to Prince Albert and Saskatoon were determined to be working in conjunction with FreeWheelers members to illegally distribute drugs, police say.
Marijuana was being grown under a valid Health Canada medical license and diverted onto the black market for resale, much of it being sold at the pound level to buyers in Prince Albert, police say.
Another man was running a commercial process where he made marijuana vapes and other professional-looking cannabis products; one man is suspected of selling products online, police say.
Nearly 100 law enforcement officers from the Prince Albert Police Service, the RCMP and partners, including the Saskatoon Police Service, participated in the Project NORSE investigation.
Over the last five years, outlaw motorcycle gangs have significantly increased their criminal presence across Canada and have developed extensive ties to other organized crime groups and street gangs, police say.
In Prince Albert, the FreeWheelers group has been operating since May 2019, and has connections to other FreeWheelers chapters in Lloydminster and Saskatoon, along with the Hells Angels chapter out of Saskatoon.
With files from Lisa Risom.