Two Wheatland County residents have been charged with drug trafficking and being in possession of stolen property. 

Police say John McConnell and Hailey Morrison are facing numerous charges. 

On Sept. 27, RCMP started an investigation into drug trafficking following the discovery of a crashed drone near the Drumheller Institution.

Last Wednesday (Nov 1), the Drumheller GIS was initiated in the area of Township 252 and Range Road 185 in Wheatland County. RCMP officers from Drumheller, Strathmore GIS, and the RCMP Emergency Response Team also assisted.

A suspect's vehicle was found and searched and two suspects were arrested. A search warrant was also issued for the rural property. 

As a result of the two-month-long investigation and the search warrant, the following was seized:

  • One truck
  • One quad
  • One motorcycle
  • One enclosed trailer
  • One holiday trailer
  • One flat deck trailer
  • Suspected stolen smaller items such as tools and equipment
  • 295 grams of suspected methamphetamine
  • 233 tablets of suspected fentanyl
  • Contraband cigarettes
  • Drone parts and accessories consistent with drug trafficking
  • Two air guns/pellet guns
  • Brass knuckles
  • Printers and material consistent with VIN tampering and license plate forgery

The operation included a search in a jail cell at the Drumheller Institution where suspected controlled substances and evidence of drug trafficking were located. 

In total, 30 charges have been laid against McConnell and Morrison. They include counts of:

  • Possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking
  • Trafficking of methamphetamine
  • Possession of proceeds of crime
  • Possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Fraudulent concealment
  • Tampering with vehicle identification number

Furthermore, McConnell is charged with:

  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Fail to comply with an undertaking condition
  • Fail to comply with a release order
  • Operating a vehicle while prohibited
  • Possess of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Operate a vehicle without registration
  • Operating an uninsured vehicle

Morrison is also charged with possession of ammunition while prohibited.

Both McConnell and Morrison were taken for a bail hearing where McConnell remained in custody and is to have a court apprentice at the Strathmore courthouse early this week. Morrison was released from custody on a $2,500 release order with multiple conditions. She is scheduled to appear in the Drumheller court on November 24. 

Drumheller RCMP and partners continue to investigate this matter and additional charges are pending.

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