Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP target drug traffickers

Undercover operation that started in September saw powder and crack cocaine, and heroin, bought in Vernon and Armstrong

Vernon RCMP set the pace on targeting street-level drug traffickers.

In September, members of the Vernon targeted policing section conducted an undercover operation named E-Pacesetter, a four-day operation designing to target many drug traffickers in the Vernon-North Okanagan detachment area.

A total of 21 street-quantity drug buys of powder cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin were made during this operation.

Police have recommended charges of drug trafficking on 16 people (11 men and 5 women) all from Vernon except one purchase was made in the Armstrong area.

“As you can appreciate there is a great deal of work required to present these cases to Crown counsel for charge approval,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

While many of the charges have already been approved, and the people responsible have been arrested, several others are awaiting charge approval and/or arrest warrant execution.

Investigators advise that of the 16 people being charged, 13 have previous criminal records. Ten of them have previous convictions for drug related offences.

Targeting drug trafficking at all levels is a detachment priority.

“Our detachment will endeavour to continue to disrupt drug trafficking activities in an effort to prosecute those responsible,” said Sgt. David Evans of the targeted policing unit.

“Drug use and trafficking is a root cause of a large percentage of crime that affects our local citizens, and through ongoing efforts like this we hope to reduce it.”

Undercover operations are part of the Vernon-North Okanagan detachment’s strategic priorities.

“They are a part of our crime reduction initiatives that were put in place this year,” said Molendyk.

While he didn’t know the exact number involved in this sting, Molendyk said there could have been up to 10 members taking part in the undercover operation, including some officers from out of town.


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