The Calgary media reported that ninety-five shootings occurred in the city in 2015 – twice as many as in 2014 – and police investigators said that half the incidents were related to organized crime. Fifteen people were killed in those shootings. The police believe that the violence erupted in a conflict between two groups involved in the drug trade. Then, on May 3, 2016, Calgary police commenced a string of arrests that concluded over the following week when search warrants were executed at three city residences. Eight men were arrested. A has been jointly charged with various other defendants in a direct Indictment alleging multiple counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal organization offences. The lengthy investigation included the implementation of three wiretap authorizations during the fall of 2015 that identified eight targets. The police suspect there are more sides to the gang war that requires the use of ongoing labour intensive techniques. A date for pretrial motions has been scheduled in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary.
In this conspiracy to commit murder case, Mr. Rice acted for B who was alleged to be the trigger man in retribution for the previous shooting of C on the sidewalk outside an Edmonton restaurant. The police obtained a wiretap authorization to intercept the telephone calls of C. B was caught on the wire. During the preliminary inquiry, one of the detectives conceded under cross examination by Mr. Rice that the Edmonton Police Service had extensive records about B and his association with C. It became clear that B ought to have been named as a known person in the wiretap authorization under s. 185(1)(e) of the Criminal Code as the interception of his private communications would have assisted the investigation. Faced with a flawed case, the Crown Attorney offered a sweetheart deal whereby B pleaded guilty to a firearm offence, was sentenced to time in custody and immediately released from pretrial detention. All other charges were withdrawn.