Problems with drugs and homelessness on Lewis Street have become an increasing problem. (File photo)

Police arrest man on drug charges on Duncan’s troubled Lewis Street

RCMP conduct two-day initiative in troubled area

Police made one drug-related arrest during a two-day enforcement initiative on Duncan’s Lewis Street, close to Warmland House, last week.

The RCMP operation was focused on targeting drug traffickers in the area while enforcing other offences under the Criminal Code and the Motor Vehicle Act.

Over the two days. enough evidence was gathered to charge Duncan’s Christopher Lee Hamilton, 42, with trafficking controlled substances in the area.

Hamilton has been charged with two counts of possessing a controlled substance, believed to be fentanyl and methamphetamine, for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a prohibited weapon and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Hamilton was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Duncan on Aug. 6.

In June of 2018, Hamilton was charged with seven counts of trafficking controlled substances, one count of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and one count of trafficking stolen property and was on bail at the time of his arrest.

These charges are still before the courts.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN’S LEWIS STREET HOMELESS ISSUES RAISING IRE OF RESIDENTS

During the initiative, police also impounded a vehicle for driving with no insurance, located stolen property and interrupted several people injecting drugs in plain view.

While quantities of a substance believed to be fentanyl and methamphetamine were seized, referrals were also made to the Cowichan Valley’s Overdose Prevention Site.

A police statement said the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is cognizant of the issues surrounding the opioid crisis, drug addiction issues, and property crimes affecting the residents and business owners in the community.

“For over eight years, the RCMP has worked in partnership with Warmland House towards a safer community for everyone,” said S/Sgt. Kurt Bosnell, the plain clothes commander at the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment.

“The RCMP will continue to target those involved in trafficking drugs and property crimes.”

Lewis Street has been facing increasing issues due to crime, drug use and homelessness in recent years.

The street’s residents have recently become more vocal about their frustration with the makeshift tents, loud and boisterous people and drug paraphernalia and other garbage that is being left on the street.

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