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Man fails to appear in court on drug trafficking, weapons charges; police raid home and seize more drugs, weapons

Betthel failed to appear in Saskatoon court March 17 on drug trafficking and weapons charges; police raided his home March 16 and allegedly found additional drugs, weapons

SASKTOON – Police are searching for a Bjorkdale man on two warrants for drug trafficking and weapons offences in two separate incidents. 

An arrest warrant has been issued for 54-year-old Rudi Betthel of Bjorkdale after Tisdale RCMP raided his home March 16 and seized a loaded prohibited firearm, drugs, and drug trafficking paraphernalia.

In that incident, Betthel was charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, four counts of failing to comply with release conditions, unsafe storage of a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon knowing possession was unauthorized, unlicensed possession of a restricted firearm/prohibited weapon with ammunition, and two counts of possession of a weapon contrary to an order, and failing to surrender authorization.

The RCMP say that Tisdale RCMP are actively trying to locate Betthel. He is described as 5-foot-10, medium build, brown hair and blue eyes. Police say they don’t have a photo of him at this time.

A bench warrant was also issued by a judge in Saskatoon Provincial Court March 17 after Betthel failed to appear in court on charges stemming from April 2021. The charges include 10 drug trafficking and five weapons related offences. Those charges were laid after police raided homes in Saskatoon and Bjorkdale following a traffic stop in April 2021.

The traffic stop was a result of an investigation which began in March 2021 when the Saskatoon Integrated Crime Reduction Team (S-ICRT), the RCMP Prince Albert Gang Task Force, and the Melfort and Tisdale RCMP Detachments joined forces after they learned about the presence of large quantities of drugs in the area.

A project was established based on information gathered by the RCMP, the Prince Albert Gang Task Force, Saskatoon Police Service Drug Unit, Saskatoon Police Service Patrol members, Crime Stoppers, and the S-ICRT. The S-ICRT is made up of personnel from partner agencies from the Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan RCMP and is aimed at disrupting, curtailing and reducing criminal activity in Saskatchewan. The Saskatoon Police Service Tactical Support Unit conducted a vehicle stop in April 2021 at the investigative team's direction just outside of Saskatoon on Highway 7 near Township Road 340. Betthel was driving and allegedly had a significant amount of methamphetamine, Fentanyl, cocaine and related drug paraphernalia in his possession.

After the traffic stop, police got a search warrant for a residence on the 100 block of Hara Avenue in Bjorkdale where they seized firearms, methamphetamine, ketamine, hydromorphone and additional drug paraphernalia. Police then executed a search warrant at a residence on the 300 block of Avenue N south in Saskatoon and seized drugs, a firearm and weapons. The S-ICRT seized approximately 4,068 individual does of methamphetamine, 992 doses of cocaine and about 3,062 doses of Fentanyl.

The charges against Betthel haven't been proven in court.