Police are taking aim at gangs and organized crime around Vancouver Island.
A year-long investigation into an alleged drug trafficking network, with ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, has led to the seizure of drugs, weapons and several arrests.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) says four search warrants were executed on residences in the Comox Valley and Campbell River on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
Six people believed to be linked to the network were arrested and since released from custody pending charges, including a 43-year-old man from Campbell River, the CFSEU-BC says.
A 57-year-old man and 46-year-old woman from Comox, a 39-year-old man from Cumberland, a 32-year-old man from Sooke and a 29-year-old woman from Victoria were also arrested.
According to the CFSEU-BC, the investigation was “complex” and first launched in January 2021, with “significant evidence” gathered over the past year.
Last week’s searches led to the seizure of approximately 3.5 kg of suspected cocaine, around $160,000 in Canadian cash and several firearms, including a handgun, semi-automatic gun, sawed-off shotguns, long guns and ammunition.
As well, one vehicle as offence-related property and Hells Angels paraphernalia was seized.
Officials say the drugs will be sent to a lab to be analyzed, with the firearms to be sent to the CFSEU-BC-managed Provincial Forensic Firearms Lab for processing.
The investigation continues, the CFSEU-BC adds, with investigators preparing necessary reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel to assess charge approval for several Criminal Code and Drug-related offences.
Superintendent Duncan Pound, Deputy Operations Officer for the CFSEU-BC, finds small communities and areas outside the Lower Mainland aren’t immune to the adverse effects of gangs and organized crime.
“These groups prey upon the most vulnerable through the sale of often deadly drugs and using fear and intimidation in order to advance their illicit enterprises,” Pound said.
“Working with our partners on Vancouver Island in a collaborative and coordinated effort is critical to ensuring that those who seek to put us and our communities at risk are held accountable.”