Kitimat RCMP are recommending charges be filed against 10 people following the seizure of more than a half-pound of cocaine along with other drugs, vehicles and weapons stemming from an investigation that began in January and continued in March, two RCMP officers reported to Kitimat council May 2.
From Jan. 13 to Jan. 15 and from March 3 to March 8, investigators pieced together suspected narcotics activity after the RCMP became aware of an increase in drugs present in the community, said Corporal Bobby Bambury and Staff Sergeant Graham Morgan who is the officer in charge of the RCMP’s Kitimat detachment.
“The Kitimat RCMP focused this two-week investigation on targeted individuals here in the community that we were aware of that were selling drugs,” said Bambury. “We were also able to identify further people that were involved in these groups to sell illicit drugs.”
Bambury, who has experience in drug investigations, used his expertise.
“Conventional methods that we used in the past to target some of these individuals weren’t really successful so we looked at different ways that we target these individuals that would have the outcomes that we desired,” said Bambury.
Through the investigation five search warrants were executed, over a half-pound of cocaine was seized along with small quantities of methamphetamines and MDMA.
Officers also seized 10 long guns, a compound crossbow and a loaded pistol-grip shotgun that was ready to fire. The shotgun was found near a stash of drugs and cash.
Three vehicles were also seized — a 2020 Dodge Ram truck, a 2017 Dodge Ram truck and a 2013 Ford Explorer.
The vehicles will be put through civil forfeiture where if a judge deems it, the vehicles will be sold off and the money will go to the provincial solicitor general instead of being returned to their owners.
The civil forfeiture act allows the commencement of legal proceedings against property linked to unlawful activity. It is designed to ensure people cannot profit from unlawful activity or use property in a way that may harm others. Civil forfeiture can proceed even if someone was not charged or if the charges were stayed or the individual was acquitted.
RCMP said they were going after one particular target through this investigation and that this person was arrested.
“In particular we were going after one certain target and I can let you know at the end of the project that same target was arrested,” Bambury told council.
Through the investigation RCMP also identified another target that they confirmed was working for industry.
“We also identified another emerging high-level target here in Kitimat, that we confirmed is working for industry here,” said Bambury. “He was using his contacts with industry to come and go freely from the work camps here to sell drugs on their property.”
RCMP have yet to identify the industry the individual worked for and what work camps he attended.
RCMP will now be submitting charge recommendations to the federal crown looking to have 10 people charged. Potential charges include proceeds of crime and drug trafficking.