Battlefords RCMP make several arrests after trafficking operation seizes drugs, guns

Battlefords, Sask., RCMP have laid more than 25 charges against six people following a trafficking operation in which police seized drugs, cigarettes, cash and handguns.

The trafficking operation stems from the Battleford RCMP’s Gang Task Force (GTF) which started Project Falter, an investigation into trafficking activity in the Battlefords area.

“GTF officers used a multitude of advanced investigational techniques, including covert strategies and surveillance to gather information,” stated police.

“The investigation determined illicit drugs, originating from Edmonton, were being trafficked in the Battlefords area via a phone-in delivery service.”

On Feb. 2, 2023, a trafficking operation was executed by the GTF and partner units in which officers stopped two vehicles. Simultaneous search warrants were then executed at numerous residences in the Battlefords and Edmonton areas.

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With Project Falter, officers were able to locate and seize nearly 8 kg of suspected cocaine; 281 grams of Xanax tablets; more than 5,000 pre-rolled cannabis joints; 898 cartons of contraband cigarettes; more than 10 kg of cutting agent; a large sum of cash; and four illegally-possessed handguns.

“This investigation showcases the officers’ investigational skills and determination. Through their work, a significant trafficking operation in the Battlefords has been dismantled. Between here and in Edmonton, we’ve taken eight kilograms of cocaine off the street,” stated Sgt. Adam Buckingham, who oversees the GTF.

“We’ve kept hundreds of thousands of dollars out of criminal hands — but even more importantly, the flow of dangerous drugs in our communities has been severed … it also shows the success that comes when we work seamlessly with partner policing units, both with the RCMP and municipal forces.”

Daniel Norgaard, 34, and Andrew Koberinski, 27, both from North Battleford face numerous charges including possession of cocaine, several firearm charges and possession of the proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000.

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Delia Bull, 20, and Shae Laliberte, 24, from North Battleford are each charged with trafficking and possession of cocaine. Zhakary Night, 21, and Olja Budinski, 22, from North Battleford are also each charged with one count of trafficking cocaine.

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All six have or will appear in North Battleford Provincial Court and information numbers have been provided for your reference.

The GTF included Saskatchewan RCMP’s Battlefords Municipal General Investigation Section (GIS), Battlefords and Saskatoon Provincial GIS, Crime Reduction Team, Warrant Enforcement Response Team, Police Dog Services, Integrated Intelligence Units and Battlefords detachment; the Edmonton Police Service Drug and Gang Enforcement Unit (EDGE); the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT); Edmonton Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU); and Strathcona RCMP.

Police stated this investigation continues and further updates will be provided as they become available.

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