Sting sends signal

Vernon RCMP officers purchase cocaine and heroin from 21 different dealers

An undercover operation has made a dent in Vernon’s drug activity.

Officers successfully purchased drugs (predominantly cocaine and heroin) from 21 different people during a May-long sting.

The operation took place across the city and resulted in 25 drug-related charges.

While the RCMP detachment admits this will not erase drug activity, it should force drug dealers and the likes to re-think their operations.

“It will put a little bit of a dent and slow them down,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

But as this case shows, even a bust doesn’t necessarily stop individuals from repeating their offences. Nine of the suspects have been charged previously with trafficking-related charges.

RCMP are also concerned with the age of some of the suspects – one is 16 and another is 17.

“Another disturbing factor is police are seeking warrants for at least two young offenders,” said Molendyk. “It seems to be a much more common occurrence that young people are becoming involved in trafficking drugs.”

The majority of the 21 individuals have since been arrested, while five remain outstanding.

A subsequent bust found six ounces of cocaine and heroin and a loaded nine-millimetre handgun was also taken off the streets.

“The investigation is still ongoing in our goal to reduce drug trafficking and other forms of crime in our community, in keeping with our strategic goals for the year,” said Molendyk.