Drugs and organized crime aren’t just a policing challenge in big Canadian cities.

They also top the priority list in Port Hardy.

So far this year, the Port Hardy RCMP has charged six people and seized over $60,000 dollars in various drug busts.

Acting detachment commander, Cpl. Chris Voller says they’ve had a busy year with drug investigations. 

He added dealers prey on the vulnerable: “While addiction is a medical issue, predators like these push those circumstances into the realm of criminality and we need to take enforcement action against them.”

Voller said they’re team is not done yet.

“We’ll continue to work hard at getting drugs (off the street) and those who would seek to sell them,” Voller added. 

“Crimes of this nature are driven by greed and led by a level of selfishness. Capitalizing on the exploitation of our large vulnerable sector, lending to property crime and unsafe roadways. The five community leaderships I answer have made it exceeding clear that these actions have no place within our communities.”

Port Hardy police are urging you to call them at 250-949-6335 if you see suspected drug activity. If they wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit their web site at www.crimestoppers.ca.

Meanwhile, Port Hardy RCMP is sharing some of the key cases over the past year.

Late night bust

On Feb. 17th, Port Hardy members noticed a vehicle parked on Highway 19 Southbound just after midnight. 

The time of day and location of the vehicle seemed odd and a curious member decided to check on the driver to ensure everything was okay. 

While speaking with the driver, the officer spotted drug paraphernalia in plain view and both people were arrested. 

During a search of the vehicle, further drugs, drug paraphernalia, over $12,000 in cash, and an unsecured firearm were all located and seized. 

Jeffrey Brent of Port Hardy and Bonnie Kristiansen of Port Alice have since been charged with multiple offences including; unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, Careless Use of Firearm, and Possess Weapon for Dangerous Purpose

Traffic stop leads to cash, drugs

In April, the RCMP got a tip about suspected drug activity at a unit at 9200 Granville Street and a suspect was identified. 

During a traffic stop a month later, a Port Hardy RCMP member came across a female identified as a suspect in drug trafficking the previous month. 

Again, the officer spotted drug paraphernalia in plain view in the vehicle while speaking to the suspect. 

Upon her arrest, drugs and bags of currency were seized from the woman’s bag. A search warrant executed later the same day at the woman’s residence yielded further drugs, evidence of drug trafficking, and more than $20,000 of cash. 

Leanne Kiiskila of Port Hardy has been charged with two counts of drug trafficking.

Property search yields drugs

On June 17th, the Port Hardy RCMP searched a house and the associated property on Byng Road. 

RCMP members seized cash, various drugs and evidence of drug trafficking. 

Earl Casemore, David Louis, and Betty Nadelko have all since been charged with drug trafficking and Possessing a Controlled Substance.

Voller said these complex investigations “show the hard work and dedication the port hardy RCMP has to removing not only these illegal drugs from our community, but ensuring that those selling drugs face consequences.”