Surrey RCMP say six people have been arrested in three “significant” drug busts recently that saw more than 30 kilograms of cocaine and $125,000 in cash seized.
Police say since Nov. 8, the Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team has seized drugs in three separate busts and all told, it’s estimated that more than 120,000 doses of cocaine were taken off the streets.
“Drug trafficking is a significant driver of violent criminal activity, not only in Surrey, but across the Lower Mainland,” said Inspector Mike Hall of the Surrey RCMP. “These three interdictions will have a significant impact on the flow of cocaine at the street level, and represent a significant financial hit to the network of drug traffickers these seizures are associated to.”
The first happened on Nov. 8 during a traffic stop in the area of 152nd Street and 81st Avenue around 11:30 p.m., during which gang officers stopped a vehicle and seized just under a pound of cocaine.
“Officers made a number of observations which led to the discovery of hidden compartments within the vehicle, and a large paint tray of suspected bulk, powdered cocaine,” an RCMP release states. “The driver and passenger of the vehicle were arrested for possession of a substance for the purpose of trafficking, and have been released from custody while the investigation is ongoing.”
The next day, gang unit officers pulled over a vehicle near 140th Street and 108th Avenue around 6:30 p.m. to check the sobriety of the driver after the vehicle was seen crossing a solid line.
Police say the driver had an expired drivers license, and items were found “consistent with drug trafficking” including cellphones, MDMA and cash. Surrey RCMP say officers searched the vehicle and found wads of cash wrapped in elastic bands that equated to $125,000.
The driver and a passenger were arrested for possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. The passenger was also arrested for drug possession. Police say both men have been released as the investigation continues.
Then, on Nov. 22, another traffic stop in the 11900-block of 80th Avenue proved fruitful.
Police stopped a vehicle shortly after 6 p.m. and observed a “suspicious bag.”
Surrey RCMP say it was discovered that the bag contained 30 individually wrapped packages of suspected cocaine.
Officers also seized $5,000 in cash and a $25,000 money order.
The driver and passenger were both arrested for possession of a substance for the purpose of trafficking and were released pending further investigation.
Surrey RCMP displayed the seized drugs and cash to the media on Friday, Nov. 29.
Also this week, the Upper Fraser Valley Regional RCMP said officers had shut down an alleged dial-a-dope operation in Vancouver that would have otherwise seen drugs distributed throughout the Lower Mainland.
On Sept. 10, UFVR RCMP said the Chilliwack RCMP Crime Reduction Unit Drug Section and the Vancouver Police Department Organized Crime Unit executed a search warrant in the 5600-block of Boundary Road in Vancouver.
Included in the articles seized by police during their search were items associating suspects and locations from other Lower Mainland communities to the alleged drug trafficking organization,” according to a UFVR RCMP release Wednesday (Nov. 27).
RCMP also said officers continued the investigation, “targeting dial-a-dope suspects, leading to the arrest of two people on Oct. 23, 2019 during a police traffic stop in Chilliwack.” Officers seized drugs believed to be fentanyl and crack cocaine “while gathering further evidence to link the Lower Mainland locations to their investigation.”
Police also searched four other locations, including two in Surrey. One in the 7700-block of 123A Street and the other in the 15000-block of 29A Avenue. The other two locations were in Vancouver (1500-block of Hornby Street) and Burnaby (1000-block of Augusta Avenue).
Police said drugs believed to be fentanyl, along with cash, cell phones and “paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking,” and clothing “linking the Brothers Keepers crime group to the illegal operation were also seized.”
-Files from Paul Henderson