FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John man is among five individuals charged after an 18-month investigation into a drug trafficking network across Western Canada.

Project Motor, a joint investigation between ALERT and RCMP Federal Serious Organized Crime, resulted in the seizure of more than $1.6 million worth of drugs.

ALERT alleges the drug trafficking network had its origins in British Columbia’s lower mainland, and fanned out across Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

The investigation originated in Medicine Hat following several large drug busts in Southeast Alberta in 2020.

“ALERT was able to trace back the drug supply, and leverage criminal intelligence, in order to develop a clearer picture of the criminal organization believed to be responsible,” said a release.

Matthew Edwards (42), Kevin Hind (27), Karnvir Sandhu (25), from Calgary, and Atta Ul Waheed Sheikh (34), from Fort St. John, are facing a total of 37 charges, ranging from drug trafficking to conspiracy to traffic drugs to participating in a criminal organization.

A warrant has been issued for Dillion Burgie (40), from Calgary, who is believed to be somewhere in British Columbia:

The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than $1.6 million worth of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine, along with 11 firearms and $82,000 cash.

ALERT says the fentanyl alone represents a theoretical yield of 50,000 doses, as it would be typically sold on the street level.

Multiple police agencies and specialized units assisted in Project Motor, including Medicine Hat Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Calgary Police Service, British Columbia Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), Vancouver Police, and RCMP Fort St. John, and RCMP specialized units in E-Division and K-Division.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community are asked to 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.