Drug bust includes ten islanders

  • Jan. 17, 2007 7:00 a.m.

A huge undercover police investigation into drug trafficking in Northern BC has led to the arrest of 10 islanders. The project, conducted from September to December 2006, targeted street level drug traffickers in Queen Charlotte/Skidegate, Masset, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Nass Valley, New Hazelton, Smithers and Houston. More than 100 charges were laid against 53 different suspects. In Masset, four people face charges including trafficking of a controlled substance (cocaine). Sergeant Jim Vardy says officers are still finalizing some of the paperwork. He intends to release the names of those arrested next week. In Queen Charlotte and Skidegate, six people are facing 15 different charges, including eight trafficking and three possession for the purposes of trafficking offences. Many of the people facing charges had a history of drug convictions. During the investigation undercover police officers purchased drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, crack cocaine, morphine and psilocybin. Sergeant Vardy says the busts help, but there are still a lot of illegal substances out there. “It is basically a never-ending battle for us,” he said. He says a lot of family violence, neglect and other crimes stem from drug and alcohol abuse in the community. “It’s not a good situation. It costs money to maintain these habits and the money has to come from somewhere, whether it is out of kid’s mouths or from crime elsewhere.” In other police news, Queen Charlotte RCMP were busy over the holidays with drug and alcohol related offences. Drugs were seized from five individuals, five drivers had their licenses suspended and six individuals were arrested for being drunk and disorderly and held in jail until sober. Over 100 grams of marijuana were seized from a driver at one of the several Counterattack road blocks set up in December.