Police seize fentanyl, meth and other drugs

Joint investigation spanned from Saskatoon to Bjorkdale

Police seized drugs and guns, including suspected fentanyl, in an investigation spanning from Saskatoon to Bjorkdale on April 26. 2021. (Submitted photo)

Police officers from Saskatoon, Melfort, Tisdale and Prince Albert teamed up to seize hundreds of doses of street drugs Monday.

According to a press release, the Saskatoon Integrated Crime Reduction Team, the RCMP Prince Albert gang Task Force and Melfort and Tisdale RCMP detachments learned about the presence of large quantities of drugs in the area in March. They started a project based on information gathered by the RCMP, Saskatoon Police and Crime Stoppers.

The investigative team directed the Saskatoon Police Tactical Support Unit to conduct a vehicle stop outside of Saskatoon on Highway 7 and Township Road 240 on April 26. The male driver was allegedly found to have a ”significant amount” of illicit substances.

Rudi Betthel, a Bjorkdale resident, was arrested. Police say at the time he had methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and related drug paraphernalia in his possession. A search warrant was executed in Bjorkdale following Betthel’s arrest. Police seized guns, meth, ketamine, hydromorphone and more drug paraphernalia from the Bjorkdale residence.

 Officers also searched a Saskatoon residence on the 300 Block of Avenue N south. Officers seized drugs, a gun and other weapons from the Saskatoon residence.

Betthel is charged with five counts each of trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Tricia Karpluk of Saskatoon is charged with weapons and drug offences, including drug trafficking, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possessing proceeds obtained by crime.

Both Betthel and Karpluk made their first court appearance Wednesday.

Saskatoon Integrated Crime Reduction Team Sgt. Kory Davidsen said “the amount of drugs seized represents around 4,068 individual sales of methamphetamine, 992 of cocaine and about 3,062 potential street-level sales of fentanyl.

“We expect this seizure of drugs will have a significant impact on the communities surrounding Melfort and Tisdale and the cities of Prince Albert and Saskatoon. The effectiveness of the collaboration of RCMP teams and units working in conjunction with the Saskatoon Police Service demonstrated s jow working together will produce excellent results.