B.C.'s gang task force says 23 people are facing charges after a sweeping bust of a drug network in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Fort Nelson.
In a release, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia says 13 search warrants were executed in the three communities over three months between Oct. 13, 2022, and Jan. 23, 2023.
Among the items seized were 10 kilograms of cocaine, three kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms psilocybin mushrooms, and 17 kilograms of marijuana.
Also seized was $165,000 in cash, 34 firearms, a cocaine press, and 3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes, along with several vehicles, paraphernalia, ammunition, body armour, tasers, and brass knuckles.
"These arrests have resulted in the significant disruption of an entrenched organized crime group in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson,” Cpl. Madonna Saunderson of the North District RCMP said in a news release. “CFSEU BC brings the necessary resources and skill set to ensure detachments are supported in any efforts to tackle large scale drug trafficking operations.”
RCMP officers from Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Fort Nelson RCMP helped the investigation, which began in June 2022.
Among the firearms seized were eight hand guns, 16 long guns, eight shotguns, and two collapsible rifles, according to the CFSEU-BC. The seized vehicles included a 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, a 2016 Dodge Ram Crew Cab, a 2013 Chevy Cruze, and a 2020 GMC AT4 pickup truck, the agency said.
The 23 people arrested have been released pending approval of charges, the agency said, adding the investigation continues.
“This collaborative effort led by CFSEU-BC unveiled an alleged drug trafficking network in the provinces North District, giving CFSEU-BC an opportunity to disrupt organized groups causing harm to the communities of the Peace Region,” Insp. Joel Hussey, operations officer for CFESU-BC, said in a statement.
“We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners across the province to target those who pose the greatest risk to public safety due to their involvement in gang-related activities. Police in British Columbia are unified in our resolve to suppress, disrupt, and prevent groups who show such wanton disregard for the well-being of our citizens.”