Thursday, 2 October 2008

PRIME TARGETS Abdirahman Hussein, 22; Jibril Adam, 25; Abdulaziz Abdullah, 21; Ahmed Zalal, 21; Hassan Nur, 24; Hassan Hassan, 29; Feyesel Mussa, 29;

The 14 "primary targets" of the investigation were named in a release from Calgary police Wednesday; the names of the remaining 20 people facing lesser criminal charges were not released.The men named as primary targets were: Abdirahman Hussein, 22; Jibril Adam, 25; Abdulaziz Abdullah, 21; Ahmed Zalal, 21; Hassan Nur, 24; Hassan Hassan, 29; Feyesel Mussa, 29; Egal Adam, 18; Liban Bakal, 25; Yasin Ahmed Mohamed, 20; Mustafa Ahmed, 22; Devron Brown, 29; Mahad Dirir, 22; and Mubarak Farah, 26.
Mr. Dirir, Mr. Farah and Mr. Bakal had still not been brought into custody as of late Wednesday.Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Zalal were previously charged in a shooting that took place at a Tim Hortons on Walkley Road in January. They are currently in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.Ottawa police have long observed the trend of local gang members heading west in search of business opportunities in Alberta's red-hot economy.The province has become a preferred destination for gang members, Staff Sgt. Mike Callaghan said Wednesday, because of an economy that has been "stimulated to the max."
"Obviously, because of the economic climate...we see a lot of gang members travelling to the province of Alberta," he said.
In January, Sgt. Anthony Costantini of the Ottawa police guns and gangs unit told the Citizen that at least 20 Ottawa gang members had headed west in 2007.
To date, the trend continues and Ottawa police stay in constant contact with their western colleagues. "We're dealing with Calgary all the time on a continual basis," Sgt. Costantini said Wednesday.Identified 14 key players involved in a violent drug-trafficking trade in Calgary that has led to several shootings and is connected to various Ottawa street gangs.
Staff Sgt. Grant Miller of the Calgary police targeted enforcement unit said Wednesday that police had recently spent 11 months investigating the activities of a specific drug network operating in Alberta that was based in Ottawa and had ties to area street gangs.What they found was a group of young men who were fixated on making money with anyone who was a convenient business partner - even if that wasn't the way the drug-dealing business necessarily worked in their home town. And the loyalties these alleged gang members held to people in Ottawa appeared to erode a bit once they hit the booming Alberta market.
When they come to Calgary, their affiliations to those gangs become much looser," he said. "And they maybe start to do business with people that they don't ordinarily deal with maybe if they were still in Ottawa."These alleged gang members were lower-level drug dealers compared to others operating in Calgary, but were "very active" while working in the city, he said.On Wednesday, Calgary police announced that they had laid more than 250 criminal charges during their lengthy investigation, and seized more than $200,000 worth of illegal drugs, $40,000 in cash and 12 guns - which included semi-automatic handguns, sawed-off shotguns and a .357 revolver.
Staff Sgt. Miller said police undertook 25 raids in Edmonton and Calgary when making their arrests over a number of months."It's been a long, ongoing thing," he said. "There was no one big takedown day."The investigation, police revealed, had resulted in charges being laid in connection with four shooting incidents that took place in Calgary between Oct. 5, 2007, and May 3, 2008.


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