THE BATTLEFORDS — RCMP say a recent seizure of the drugs and weapons and associated arrests are the culmination of a six-month-long investigation by the North Battleford RCMP’s Gang Task Force, the Saskatchewan RCMP’s Crime Reduction Team (CRT) and Warrant Enforcement and Suppression Team (WEST).
On March 18, 2022, police officers from numerous Saskatchewan RCMP units executed six search warrants at properties in the North Battleford Detachment area. As a result of these search warrants, officers located and seized:
- 839 grams of cocaine
- 37.25 kilograms of illegal marijuana
- seven firearms, including one reported as stolen from North Battleford
- drug trafficking paraphernalia; and
- a large sum of cash
The search warrants were executed at five residences: one in the rural municipality of Meota, one in the community of Landis and three in North Battleford (1400 block of 101st Street, 1700 block of 103rd Street, 2500 block of Ross Crescent) and at one commercial property in the North Battleford industrial area (on Marquis Avenue). Four adult males were arrested during the execution of these search warrants. All are from the North Battleford Detachment area.
“This was a proactive, in-depth investigation. Because of the meticulous work of our police officers, a very significant amount of weapons and drugs have been removed from the street,” says S/Sgt. Jason Teniuk, acting commander of the North Battleford RCMP. “We will not tolerate the trafficking of guns and drugs in our community and will continue to proactively investigate and charge those who do so. This is another example of the results of the tireless work our Gang Task Force officers, who work in our detachment area, do everyday to keep our communities safe.”
“As the province’s police force, the Saskatchewan RCMP has the many specialized resources required to complete an investigation of this magnitude – and to dismantle significant criminal operations like this one,” says Insp. Glenn Church from Saskatchewan RCMP’s Criminal Operations. “The efforts of units like our Gang Task Force, CRT and WEST supplement the great work our frontline police officers do everyday in keeping communities throughout Saskatchewan safe.”
As a result of the investigation, Russell Ens, 38, Matthew Kennedy, 35, and Benjamin Lennie, 32, have been charged with:
- possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking;
- possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking;
- possession of property obtained by crime;
Trevor Kennedy, 47, is charged with:
- unauthorized possession of a firearm;
- two counts, unsafe storage of a firearm.
All four have appeared in North Battleford Provincial Court. Russell Ens and Matthew Kennedy were remanded into custody until their next appearance on March 23. Benjamin Lennie was remanded until his next appearance on March 24. Trevor Kennedy will next appear on April 11.
In addition to the above, Chris Phillip, 44, of North Battleford has been charged with:
- possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking
- possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking
- possession of property obtained by crime.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and officers are actively trying to locate and arrest him. Chris Phillip is described as approximately five feet 10 inches and 180 pounds. He is balding and has a white beard. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call their local RCMP detachment by calling 310-RCMP. Information can also be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.saskcrimestoppers.com.