Strathmore RCMP seize meth and more from vehicles stuck in snow

Two men from northern Alberta face charges in relation to an incident that took place last week in Wheatland County, Alta.

Last Friday, around 9:30 a.m., Strathmore RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle stuck in the snow around Range Road 234 and Township Road 244.

Responding officers checked out the occupants of the vehicle, who were wanted on Canada-wide parole warrants.

Both men were arrested, and a search yielded a quantity of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $19,000, $22, 275 in cash, a handgun replica, a number of edged and impact weapons and government identification that belonged to neither individual.

Items seized by Strathmore RCMP include drugs, a large quantity of cash, weapons and a replica handgun

Christopher Lindgren, 31 and a resident of Bezansen, and Nathan Piche, 30 and a resident of Cold Lake, were both charged with the following:

  • Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking;
  • Possession of items used for trafficking in a controlled substance;
  • Possession of a prohibited weapon;
  • Fourteen counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose;
  • Obstructing a peace officer; and
  • Two counts of unlawful possession of government documents.

Piche was also charged with:

  • Possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order;
  • Illegal possession of government documents; and
  • Five other offences under the Traffic Safety Act relating to no insurance, registration infractions, unlawful use of license plate, and unauthorized operation of a motor vehicle.

Both remain in custody on the new charges for future court appearances. Both men were parolees who fled a community residential facility, which generated the Canada-wide warrants.

“I’d like to express my continued thanks to the public for reporting suspicious activity such as what was encountered in this matter,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Wielgosz, Strathmore detachment commander.  

“Our detachment members have been able to apprehend a number of offenders and intercept illicit drugs harmful to our communities as a result of public reporting over the past year. These reports have undoubtedly prevented significant harm caused as a result of the illicit drug trade.”

Strathmore RCMP made a similar bust on Sunday, when a vehicle said to be driving erratically ended up in a ditch along Range Road 264 south of Lyalta.

Two individuals were attempting to free the vehicle when officers arrived, police say.

Two individuals were attempting to free the vehicle when officers arrived, police say.

According to police, the vehicle turned out to have been stolen from Calgary, and inside officers found 65 grams of suspected methamphetamine with a potential street value of $6,500, identification belonging to other people and a stolen Calgary Fire Department badge.

Dustin Tienkemp, 35 and from Fort McMurray, and Mazen Chehade, 43 and from Calgary, were arrested.

They were both charged with the following:

  • Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000;
  • Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000;
  • Possession of a controlled substance; and
  • Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Tiencamp was bound by a probation order. Chehade was wanted on 10 outstanding warrants out of Calgary.

Tiencamp has since been released. Chehade remains in custody. Both face future court dates.

“This investigation is another positive example of timely public reporting of dangerous driving habits or suspicious activity. A single call can lead to the apprehension of wanted persons, recovery of stolen property and seizure of illicit drugs capable of great harm in our communities. I’d like to pass along my thanks for the continued public support in reporting crime.” Wielgosz said.

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