Calgary… Following a year-long ALERT investigation, a Calgary-based organized crime group has been dismantled. Ten people were arrested and 111 charges relating to drugs, firearms, and organized crime have been laid.
ALERT Calgary’s organized crime and gang team began its investigation in November 2015 and concluded on November 21, 2016 with the arrest of primary suspect Timothy Varga, a 40-year-old man from Calgary. ALERT alleges that Varga was the central figure in a criminal network that extended from Alberta to British Columbia and had ties to Manitoba.
Varga has been charged with:
- Instructing a criminal organization;
- Committing offences for a criminal organization;
- Recruiting members for a criminal organization;
- Conspiring to commit an indictable offence;
- Trafficking in Cocaine (x 2);
- Possession of property obtained by crime;
- Six firearms charges.
Over the course of the investigation, ALERT deployed a variety of specialized police techniques and resources. An investigation of this scale required the assistance of a number of police agencies, including Calgary Police Service, RCMP, Public Prosecution Services Canada, RCMP Vernon, RCMP Sicamous, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) British Columbia, Canada Border Services Agency, Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA), and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC).
Varga and his associates were implicated in multiple offences that included drug and weapons trafficking. ALERT provided a news release in September detailing some of these arrests, but since then additional charges have been finalized.
A total of 111 charges have been laid against 10 people from Calgary:
- Timothy Varga, 40;
- Andrew McGuire, 41;
- Antonio Chavez, 23;
- Jason Hamilton, 40;
- Larissa Cowan, 25;
- Jared Kennedy, 32;
- Spencer Allan-Elliott, 26;
- Corey DeBakker, 19;
- Alex Wawia, 40;
- Justine Brind-Suchar, 26.
McGuire is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant and is believed to be in the Calgary area. Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
Search warrants were conducted throughout the course of the investigation in Calgary and British Columbia’s Okanagan region. A variety of drugs were seized and a loaded handgun, which was previously reported stolen, was found in Varga’s home. Varga has a lifetime firearms prohibition from a previous manslaughter conviction.
- Stolen handgun;
- 147 grams of cocaine;
- 26 grams of heroin;
- 106 grams of methamphetamine;
- 910 morphine pills;
- 6 grams of hash oil;
- 1.2 kilograms of ketamine;
- 14 trazodone pills;
- 12 grams of psilocybin;
- 14 rounds of ammunition
- Various stolen property;
- $10,500 cash proceeds of crime.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.