Vernon connection to border bust

Eight men, including one from Vernon, have been arrested near Oliver after RCMP seized approximately 119 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday that was believed to be headed across the border.

Eight men, including one from Vernon, have been arrested near Oliver after RCMP seized approximately 119 pounds of marijuana on Wednesday that was believed to be headed across the border.

The RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Team stopped a 2004 Ford F150 white pickup truck without incident on Camp McKinney Road in Oliver. Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the vehicle was heading south towards the United States border. Police arrested three men in the vehicle and seized the marijuana.

Further down the road, a second vehicle, a 1995 green Toyota 4Runner, was located in connection with this incident and an additional five men were arrested.

“The second vehicle contained various pieces of smuggling equipment such as camouflage clothing, camouflage backpacks, outdoor gear and radios,” said Moskaluk.

Of the eight men arrested, besides the man from Vernon, one was from Kaleden, four were from Kelowna and two from Grand Forks.

“With the recent organized crime and gang activity in other Okanagan communities, it is important for the public to know that police officers are working tirelessly to combat organized crime everywhere. By intercepting these drugs, we are removing the fuel that drives organized crime,” said Moskaluk.

A number of police agencies were involved in the arrests including North Okanagan traffic services, South Okanagan traffic services, Oliver/Osoyoos RCMP, Penticton police dog service, Oroville Station U.S. Border Patrol, Curlew Station U.S. Border Patrol and the Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional general investigation section.

Integrated Border Enforcement Teams consist of Canadian and American law enforcement teams sharing information and resources to maximize border security. The teams share a common border and common objective — to stop criminals from using the border as a conduit for illegal activities.