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Police find organized crime group has ties to West Kelowna and Merritt

Astoria Drive, West Kelowna
Image Credit: SOURCE/Google Streetview
June 12, 2013 - 3:36 PM

SASKATCHEWAN RCMP SUPT. : "WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT A GANG HERE...THIS ISN'T A GROUP THAT HAS A NAME"

UPDATE 5 p.m. June 12, 2013

Large quantities of cash, drugs and weapons were recently seized following a lengthy organized crime investigation in West Kelowna, Merritt and Regina. Since the investigation launched in January 2012 police have seized $120,000 in currency, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine and 1.1 kilograms of marijuana.

On the 3000 block of Astoria Road in West Kelowna police seized a sum of canadian cash, a Harley Davidson Motorcycle as well as cell phones, GPS tracker and computers. Over on the 800 block of Ogden Road they also seized a Chrysler 300, a shotgun, rifle, two handguns and 176 marjuana plants.

A 29-year-old man from both Kelowna and Regina was arrested in connection with the investigation and is charged with trafficking cocaine. Seven other suspects from Regina have also been arrested.

Saskatchewan RCMP Supt. Kevin Jones says the suspects are a group of people with a common objective.

“It's organized crime by virtue of fact they are organized and have one common goal to make money through illegal activity," he says.

"We're not talking about a gang here...this isn't a group that has a name," he says, describing them as an organization operating beyond provincial borders, travelling back and forth across Western Canada.

Jones says the Kelowna man arrested was one of many suspects and he is not necessarily "the person" responsible for crimes.

While some of the suspects were trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, Jones says police are not calling it a drug investigation.

B.C. RCMP offered a helping hand in the investigation, Jones says, leading them to, "recognize concerns with illegal activity," in the areas of West Kelowna and Merritt.

Jones says the investigation is ongoing and police will continue to determine what and where the seized property comes from.

"We want to know how people come into possession of them," he says.

4:50 p.m. June 12, 2013

WEST KELOWNA - An integrated RCMP investigation that spanned West Kelowna, Merritt and Regina has resulted in charges and the seizure of money, drugs and stolen property.

In total Mounties uncovered $120,000 in Canadian currency, 1.5 kg cocaine and 1.1 kg marijuana along with weapons and body armour.

Police executed a search warrant June 9, 2013 at the 3000 block of Astoria Drive in West Kelowna and found money, a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle, three cell phones, 2 GPS trackers and two computers that they seized. A short drive away in the 800 block of Astoria Drive, again on June 9, police seized a 2007 Chrysler 300, a shotgun, a rifle, two handguns and 176 marijuana plants.

The same day a video surveillance system was seized from the 3000 block of Figlenski Road in Merritt while police executed a search warrant at the address.

Search warrants were executed on five addresses in Regina as well, four on June 9.

Dustin Zimmerman, 29, with addresses in both Kelowna and Regina was arrested by Kelowna RCMP for possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine. He appeared in court today at 2 p.m.

Also arrested in Kelowna was Jaird Hatch, 45. The Regina resident stood before the judge today at 2 p.m. on charges of trafficking marijuana.

In a press release, police say other charges may be laid after consultation with the crown prosecutor.

Search warrants in Regina June 9 resulted in the seizure of a multitude of items.

In the 900 block of Broad Street North where police found 17 cell phones, money, two laptops, cocaine, marijuana, 19 long guns, one replica handgun, ammunition, a conducted energy weapon, one digital scale, drug paraphernalia, a butterfly knife and a red 2006 Dodge Ram 2500.

In the 500 block of Lorne Street, items seized include one laptop, two computer hard drives, two rifles, drug paraphernalia and two disabled rifles.

A computer hard drive, ten cell phones, a bag of marijuana seeds and seven pre-paid credit cards were among the items seized in the 0-99 block of Angus Road. As well, police removed two scales, a small bag of marijuana, two black laptops, score sheets and drug paraphernalia.

On June 10 in Falcon Bay, Mounties seized money, seven cell phones, pre-paid credit cards, about 100 watches, three video game systems and a 2002 Accura MDX.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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