Police allege a North Vancouver man now facing 12 criminal charges in Edmonton was a crime boss who ran a sophisticated drug “pipeline” between the Lower Mainland and Alberta.
Neil Jeffrey Kravets, 28, was arrested at his North Vancouver home in April following a complex two-year investigation. Details of the investigation were announced Wednesday in Edmonton.
“This was a highly sophisticated criminal operation that operated like a business,” said Staff Sgt. Carson Creaser of Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team.
Originally from Edmonton, Kravets was living on the North Shore and “facilitated the supply of drugs from his residence in North Vancouver and oversaw the drug networks operation,” said Creaser.
Kravets was placed under surveillance as part of the investigation.
“From our observations he certainly was living a comfortable life in North Vancouver,” said Creaser.
Those at the top of such criminal operations “are becoming rich and living very comfortable lifestyles. These are not your street level addicts that are dealing drugs to feed their own habit,” he said. “These are sophisticated business people who are enriching themselves at the expense of our communities.”
More than $2 million worth of drugs and cash was seized and a dozen suspects were arrested as a result of the police investigation.
Police allege the trafficking ring was shipping a high volume of drugs – including cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl – to Alberta through a scheme that included vehicles equipped with hidden compartments.
Two homes, two businesses and multiple vehicles were searched as part of the investigation.
Among the drugs seized were over nine kilograms of cocaine, 17 kg of a cocaine buffing agent, six kg of methamphetamine and 684 grams of fentanyl powder. Also seized was over $514,000 in cash, a handgun with a silencer and expanded magazine and five vehicles with hidden compartments.
Kravets faces charges including instructing the commission of an offence for a criminal organization, commission of an offence for a criminal organization, participation in activities of a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance and possession of property obtained by crime. He is also charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition.
Eleven other men – including two from Vancouver – are also facing charges in connection with the investigation.