RCMP in B.C. announce arrests, charges in pair of drug trafficking investigations

Two RCMP detachments in British Columbia say they have had major victories in their fight against illegal drug traffickers in their communities. 

On Vancouver Island, seven people were arrested and one was charged following a seizure of drugs, guns and cash.

In the West Kootenay community of Castlegar, 35 kilometres north of the Canada-U.S. border, police announced two people had been charged with trafficking nearly a year after they were first arrested. 

The police force says the arrests and charges were the result of prolonged investigations into drug trafficking in the province.

3D-printed guns, illegal cigarettes seized on Vancouver Island

The seizures and arrests on Vancouver Island were the result of an investigation launched in November 2023 to target mid-level drug trafficking in the Cowichan Valley, RCMP said in a written release.

That investigation culminated with search warrants being carried out at four different residences on March 12 and 19, which police believe will have a “significant impact” on the drug supply in the region.

Drugs, weapons and cash on a table.
Police say the drug seizures have resulted in 25,000 street-level doses of fentanyl being removed from Vancouver Island. (RCMP)

The release says items seized include more than three kilograms of “suspected” fentanyl, two kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, 1.5 kilograms of suspected cocaine, more than 400 cartons of illegal cigarettes, and 40 litres of the depressant GHB.

“From the fentanyl seizure alone approximately 25,000 street-level doses were seized,” the written release says.

Also seized was a carbine rifle, six handguns, including two that were 3D-printed, a 3D printer, body armour, a Taser and more than $240,000 in cash.

Seven people were arrested and a 38-year-old from the Fraser Valley was charged with four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. Police say they are also recommending drug and firearms charges against a 32-year-old man from the Greater Victoria area and a 38-year-old woman from the Cowichan area.

Charges laid in West Kootenay, nearly a year after arrests

News of the seizures on Vancouver Island came the same day Castlegar RCMP announced charges are being laid against a pair of suspected drug traffickers nearly a year after they were initially arrested.

On May 18, 2023, Castlegar RCMP searched two homes and arrested four people: A 63-year-old male, a 57-year-old female, a 56-year-old female and a 62-year-old male. 

All were released on bail as the investigation continued.

On Thursday, police said the 63-year-old male (now 64) and 57-year-old female (now 58) had both been charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, with a court appearance scheduled for May 1.

The other two suspects, they said, have died.


Posted in CBC