MEMBERS of a Red Deer (Alberta) outlaw motorcycle club have been charged with drug trafficking offences following a lengthy ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams) investigation.
Project Rocker was a two-year investigation by ALERT Red Deer’s organized crime team into the suspected drug trafficking activities of the Syndicate outlaw motorcycle club. Syndicate is a support club of the Hells Angels.
Project Rocker concluded on April 30, 2019, after three suspects were arrested. An estimated $350,000 worth of drugs was seized, along with firearms, motorcycles, and cash.
Three Red Deer homes were searched and the following items were seized:
- 3 kilograms of cocaine;
- 9 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent;
- 2.8 kilograms of cannabis;
- a handgun;
- an SKS rifle;
- 4 vehicles; and
- $78,794 cash proceeds of crime.
ALERT alleges that members of the club were involved in an extensive drug trafficking network that operated in the Red Deer area. Casey Chapin and Joel Befus are both full patch members of the support club and have been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, along with a range of other offences. Bailey Chapin, a 29-year-old woman, was also charged.
Police say support clubs are typically utilized to carry out lower-level dirty work for the Hells Angels, such as drug trafficking and expanding territory to secondary markets. The Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels is based in Red Deer.
Project Rocker utilized a number of police investigative techniques and strategies, with the investigation beginning in April 2017. ALERT received assistance from Red Deer RCMP, Innisfail RCMP, and Alberta Sheriffs surveillance team.
Casey Chapin, 33, is charged with:
- conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance;
- possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking;
- money laundering;
- possession of proceeds of crime;
- possession of proceeds of crime for the purpose of trafficking; and
- six firearms-related offences.
Joel Befus, 32, is charged with:
- conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance; and
- possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Bailey Chapin, 29, is charged with:
- possession of proceeds of crime; and
- five firearms-related offences.
Both Casey and Bailey Chapin were released on bail after their initial court appearances. Befus was also released on bail with numerous conditions.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.