September 03, 2015 - 12:55 PM
SHUSWAP - Police busted a massive drug trafficking operation in the Shuswap over the weekend, all thanks to a stolen truck that led them straight to it.
Salmon Arm RCMP received a report of a stolen F350 with a camper on it Saturday, Aug. 29, and soon got wind of a truck matching the description heading down the Trans-Canada Highway. RCMP Sgt. A.D. Hunter said by this time, the truck was towing a black Wellcargo trailer with a Harley Davidson motorcycle (later confirmed stolen) inside.
“The trailer… came unhitched and crashed into the ditch, while the stolen truck fled the scene,” Hunter said in a media release.
The suspects were seen fleeing in the truck by Chase RCMP officers, who lost sight of it. The truck was later tracked down by Salmon Arm police and the driver fled to a rural residence in Tappen with police in pursuit. Upon arrival, police arrested the driver, but the other male suspect fled on foot into the woods. A third suspect was also at large and police began a search of the property.
The search turned up a marijuana grow operation and a prohibited weapon, as well as a second suspect who was arrested, Hunter said.
After obtaining a search warrant for the residence and property, police discovered an ATV stolen out of Alberta, the F350 truck and camper stolen from Blind Bay, and a 2011 Kenworth logging truck stolen from 100 Mile House.
Aside from the marijuana grow-op, police seized a number of other drugs, including crack, cocaine, hash, heroin, crystal meth, amphetamine, psilocybin (mushrooms) and prescription drugs, as well as cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia, Hunter said.
A few hours later, the third suspect was located by police and arrested. The three local men, aged 30, 32, and 41, face numerous charges including drug possession, trafficking, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and firearms related offences. They were released from custody on strict conditions with a date to return to Salmon Arm Provincial Court.
Police estimate the value of the stolen property to be in excess of $300,000 and the street value of the drugs to be over $420,000.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015