On May 7, 2024, a months-long investigation resulted in arrests and the execution of Search Warrants in Montana First Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation and Ponoka. 

The Maskwacis RCMP became involved in a drug trafficking investigation in 2023, following concerns brought forward from community members of Montana First Nation.  The investigation led to the discovery of a drug trafficking network operating in Montana First Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. 

The Search Warrants and arrests were executed by the Maskwacis RCMP with the assistance of the Ponoka, Wetaskiwin and Red Deer Detachments, as well as Edmonton ALERT.  The investigation resulted in the seizure of:

  • 287 grams of cocaine;
  • $16,710 cash;
  • 1.2 kilograms of buffing agent; and
  • An shotgun with ammunition.

“This is an example of the RCMP’s dedication to protecting and serving the people of Maskwacis.”, said S/Sgt. Richard McKay of the Maskwacis RCMP. “We care about the issues in these communities and are doing everything we can to stop the flow of drugs coming in. We work alongside community leaders to ensure this type of criminality does not gain a foot hold in Maskwacis.”

Vijay Curry (42), a resident of Montana First Nation, was charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance; and
  • Possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Jackie Whitehead (35), a resident of Ermineskin Cree Nation, was charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (x8);
  • Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking;
  • Unsafe storage of a firearm;
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm;
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle;
  • Possession of a weapon with a tampered serial number;
  • Possession of a weapon obtained by crime;
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose; and
  • Possession of proceeds of crime.

Candace Cutarm (39), a resdeint of Ermineskin Cree Nation, was charged with:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (x5)

All were released and are scheduled to appear at the Alberta Court of Justice in Ponoka on June 21, 2024.

If you have information about drug trafficking in Maskwacis,  please contact the Maskwacis RCMP Detachment at 780-585-3767. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www. P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store. To report crime online, or for access to RCMP news and information, download the Alberta RCMP app through Apple or Google Play.