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Drugs, weapons seized from controversial Kamloops hotel

FILE PHOTO - The Northbridge Hotel and former strip club The Duchess.
Image Credit: GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Illicit drugs and weapons have been seized by the RCMP from a controversial hotel in Kamloops with a history of criminal activity.

The Northbridge Hotel was purchased by the City of Kamloops for $7.1 million in October, 2021. The funds for the purchase came from the City's Housing Reserve Fund, with the expectation the hotel property will eventually be sold to a private developer for market housing. It is currently being managed by non-profit Ask Wellness.

READ MORE: ASK Wellness to manage controversial Northbridge Hotel in Kamloops

On Dec. 31, 2021 around 9:35 a.m., Kamloops RCMP officers attended to a unit at the hotel to assist a bailiff in serving a writ of possession.

After a locksmith gained entry to the unoccupied room and movers began packing the remaining property inside, they discovered suspected fentanyl, stolen license plates, ammunition, a spiked extendable baton and what appeared to be a homemade revolver, according to a report issued by the RCMP.

The items were seized for destruction by police and the room was emptied without incident.

That same room and unit occupants caused previous problems for Ask Wellness who is only managing the building for four months, said executive director Bob Hughes.

“This is a continuation of the incident on Nov. 9 that involved us contacting the RCMP having noted considerable drug-related activity in one of the suites,” he said.

“It was clear that some nefarious things were happening in that unit and it was compromising other residents’ safety,” Hughes said, but noted the vast majority of people in the building are looking for a place to live and are good tenants.

Ask Wellness has found it challenging to provide adequate security of people coming in and out of the building due to the building’s design, Hughes said.

Ask Wellness only agreed to oversee the building for the short-term as with COVID-19, the opioid crisis and the “sheer levels of homeless in the community,” it has been it challenging enough to operate services, he said. It has no plans to continue the service long-term.


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