Three of 11 alleged bike gang members arrested in January are set to reappear in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
Brody Markowski, 24, Danny Glover, 29, and Alexander (Michael) Fietz, 28, were released from custody and appear in court April 1 to speak to their charges.
Markowski and Fietz each face 12 charges including trafficking cocaine and cannabis. Glover has seven drug-related charges.
They were arrested as part of Project NORSE, a joint seven-month investigation by more than 100 officers from the Prince Albert Police Service, Prince Albert RCMP and Saskatoon Police.
RCMP officers from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit searched 13 homes in Prince Albert and surrounding area, as well as Saskatoon. During the searches, police seized about $87,000 in cash, three rifles, a shotgun and six vehicles worth about $116,000.
In addition, police seized 596 grams of cocaine, a cocaine press, 9,279 grams of cannabis bud, 33 cannabis plants, and 2,142 grams of individually-packaged cannabis by-products including butter, resin, hash and vape cigarettes.
Police estimate the cocaine seized amounts to about 1,200 personal uses and the cannabis seized would make about 36,000 joints. The cannabis resin seized was enough for about 1,900 sales.
During the investigation, police determined that three full-patch members of the FreeWheelers outlaw motorcycle gang were involved in illegal trafficking of cocaine and cannabis in Prince Albert and surrounding rural area. Several other individuals from Prince Albert and Saskatoon were determined to be working with the FreeWheeler bike gang members to sell illegal drugs.
According to police, marijuana was grown under a valid Health Canada medical license and diverted onto the black market for resale. A significant amount of the marijuana was sold at the pound level to buyers in Prince Albert. The investigation also revealed that one man was running a commercial process making marijuana vapes and other professional-looking cannabis products. One man is suspected of selling products online.
Saskatchewan RCMP say the FreeWheelers have operated in Prince Albert since May 2019 and have connections to other FreeWheelers chapters in Saskatoon and Lloydminster, as well as with the Saskatoon Hells Angels Chapter.
In the last five years outlaw motorcycle gangs have significantly increased their criminal presence across Canada and developed extensive ties to other organized groups and street gangs, say RCMP.
Others charged with various drug offences during the raid include Miranda Parenteau, 23, Curtis Brown, 50, Warren Kreger, 38, Tyler Korte, 30, Kaitlyn Schinold, 21, Josh Herron, 19, Rhonda Brown, 57, and Destiny Gunville, 19. Curtis Brown and Tyler Korte are also charged with careless storage of a firearm.
Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist