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Two sentenced in historic fentanyl bust

A Sturgeon County man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for what police were calling the largest fentanyl bust in history.
Court of Queen's Bench
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

Two men were handed double-digit prison sentences for what police describe as the largest fentanyl bust in Edmonton's history.

A Sturgeon County man was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while a second man got 10 years behind bars. 

Landen Wisbey of Sturgeon County and Dennis Trinh both originally pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of carfentanyl with the purpose of trafficking in November 2021. The duo were two of four men charged in a drug bust involving a Sturgeon County home in 2017.

Wisbey was sentenced on Jan. 23 to 12 years in prison along with a lifetime firearms ban, while Trinh received a 10-year sentence.

Edmonton Police Service (EPS) shut down a drug trafficking ring in 2017, which included a home located at 26023 Township Road 544 in Sturgeon County, according to their news releases at the time.

EPS seized $4.3 million in drugs at the time of the bust. The owner of the home, Phat Vuong, did not face any charges

Wisbey, who was 33 at the time, was charged with production of a controlled substance, six counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime.

He appeared in Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton in 2022 to plead guilty to possession of carfentanyl with the purpose of trafficking.

The home in Sturgeon County was one of five homes busted in the drug ring, according to EPS, who also said the home was a suspected drug lab being used to produce fentanyl pills. The other four homes are located in Edmonton.

EPS Staff Sgt. Karen Ockerman displayed some of the drugs and money seized at a press conference in July 2017, saying it is likely the drugs were planned to be distributed around Edmonton.

The police seized 130,000 fentanyl pills worth around $3.9 million from the homes, along with $1 million in cash — which EPS has said is also the largest cash bust in its history.

Police also seized four large yellow portable cement mixers, which would be used to mix large quantities of drugs, along with two pill presses, and a 2001 Ford F-150 with a hidden compartment.

Together the pill presses would have produced around 10,000 pills an hour, according to police. Another 2.4 kilograms of cocaine worth around $129,000 was also seized, along with 1.8 kilograms of methamphetamine worth around $52,000.

Police also found 834 one-gram packets of the cannabis extract known as “shatter” worth $58,000; four ounces of carfentanyl worth $14,000; 658 grams of powders laced with fentanyl worth $115,000; and 100 kilograms of buffing agents used to make pills.

In 2017, Const. Jason Wells of the RCMP said that fentanyl was not produced onsite at the Sturgeon County home, but was mixed with other substances, such as caffeine and sugars, and then pressed into pills. The county home is currently fenced off.

Wayne Bao Tran, who was charged in the same incident, pleaded guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking on Feb. 4, 2019, and was sentenced to four months behind bars. 

Thinh Dinh pleaded guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking on Oct.10, 2019, and was sentenced to 33 months in prison. 


Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Media based in St. Albert, Alta.
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