Twenty-one people charged with various drug trafficking offences in the West Kootenay/Boundary
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
A “resource-intensive” investigation by the RCMP in the West Kootenay/Boundary region in the last four months has resulted in 21 people being charged with 43 drug trafficking offences.
Members of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment plain clothes General Investigation Section embarked on Project E-PYLORUS, targeting drug trafficking at various events in communities within the West Kootenay/Boundary over the summer.
The investigators targeted drug dealers at three music festivals — Nakusp Music Fest, Kaslo Jazz Fest, Shambhala Music Festival near Salmo — and the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament.
Cpl. Dave Johnson of the Trail and greater district RCMP said 21 people are now facing various drug trafficking charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
People ranging in age from 17 to 59 years old from Revelstoke, Nakusp, Kaslo, Riondel, Castlegar, Nelson, Grand Forks, Kamloops and Abbotsford with up to five counts of drug trafficking each have been charged, said Cpl. Johnson.
The various drugs involved in these offences were marijuana, LSD, ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms, MDA powder, ecstasy pills, cocaine and methamphetamine.
“These charges are in addition to the significant charges and seizures that were previously reported to have occurred at Shambhala,” said Cpl. Johnson.
“All of these events are very important to their respective communities, and we as police want to ensure that these events are safe for the families attending them, as well as the communities hosting them.”
Drug trafficking poses a very serious threat to the safety of the communities in the region, said Inspt. Nick Romanchuk, the officer in charge of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment.
“We remain committed to continuing to target those individuals who choose to conduct these activities to the detriment of our citizens,” he said.
The investigation involved undercover and uniformed police officers from the West Kootenay/Boundary detachment, as well as “other” resources from E Division RCMP.
On Oct. 25, 18 warrants for arrest were issued with six of these being executed on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Two accused have already appeared in court from an arrest and seizure at Shambhala, as well as one accused from Grand Forks already pleading guilty and being sentenced to one year of jail for trafficking methamphetamine.