Alberta sheriffs shut drug store in Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat, AB – Alberta sheriffs closed a property in Medicine Hat that was attracting violence and drug-related activity.
The Alberta Sheriffs’ Safer Communities and Neighborhoods (SCAN) unit obtained a court order against the owner of 144 5th Street SW in Medicine Hat, allowing him to close the property for 90 days.
The community safety order took effect on March 3 and prohibits anyone from entering the property until the end of the closing period on June 1.
A fence has been installed around the house, the windows are boarded up and the locks have been changed to prevent anyone from gaining access to the house.
The SCAN unit began investigating the property last April following multiple complaints from the community about drug activity. Residents said they saw a steady stream of people touring the property in vehicles, on bikes and on foot.
Locals said they found needles and used crack pipes in the neighborhood.
SCAN investigators were able to substantiate the complaints by observing multiple drug transactions and a large number of people entering and leaving the property.
Additionally, the SCAN unit reported disturbing evidence from Medicine Hat police where officers responded to 120 incidents that occurred at the property for a variety of reasons, including a home invasion, assaults and multiple overdoses. These incidents occurred between January 2019 and September 2021.
Police and emergency medical services also responded to 10 overdoses at the property in recent years, two of which were fatal.
On February 17, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge granted authorities a community safety order against the landlord who lived on the premises.
The owner can regain access to the property in 90 days but it will remain under surveillance under the Community Safety Order expires February 17, 2023.
“I want to thank the sheriffs of Alberta for their diligent work in helping people in this community get their neighborhoods back. SCAN investigations and Community Safety Orders help break the cycle of crime associated with problematic properties and allow law-abiding Albertans to regain their safety and a sense of security,” said the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. Tyler Shandro.