Three months of investigation has led the Sooke RCMP to arrest 13 individuals for drug trafficking.
Sooke RCMP and the Island District RCMP General Investigation Section have arrested a thirteenth individual in relation to a three month long targeted drug enforcement project. Jason Morrison, 42, of Sooke was arrested on June 4, 2015, and is now facing three charges of drug trafficking. He has been released from custody by a Judicial Justice of the Peace, and is scheduled to appear next in Western Communities Provincial Court on June 25, 2015.
“This is the thirteenth drug related arrest we’ve made in Sooke over that last week”, says S/Sgt. Jeff McArthur, Detachment Commander of the Sooke RCMP. “This is the fifth person to be criminally charged as a result of this ongoing enforcement project.”
Sooke RCMP have been targeting drug dealers and so far 13 people have been arrested. RCMP officers assigned to the project used a variety of investigative methods to gather intelligence and build a criminal case against those involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs in and around Sooke.
The drug bust in Sooke on May 27 on Lanark Road led to the further arrests of Sooke residents. The RCMP have, over the last three months, gathered intelligence and built criminal cases against those involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs. Investigators seized quantities of illegal drugs believed to be heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB, and marihuana, as well as Canadian currency and a Cadillac Escalade truck.
Over a dozen local and regional RCMP officers have been assigned to the project.
S/Sgt. MacArthur said the arrests were not connected to each other. Search warrants were executed on the weekend of May 29-31 at residences in the 2000 block of Kaltasin Road, 2200 block of French Road North and the 2500 block of Sooke River Road. He said some of the cases involved a dial-a-dope type of operation but each had their own type of operation.
“It’s not like Vancouver where there is a different dealer each time, here they know the individual,” said McArthur. He said the drugs are sometimes delivered and at other times people meet up.
Remanded in police custody is 24-year-old Jamie Brittany Catt of Sooke. Released by a Judicial Justice of the Peace were Sooke residents Steve Allan Grunow, 48, Gordon Lee Thomas 24, and Brandon Clifford Stephens, 34. For those released on a JJP, they have strict conditions on their release and are supervised. If they breach the conditions they will be arrested.
Released on a Promise to Appear were two males from Victoria, 18 and 22 years old; and a 23-year-old female from Sooke and a 29-year-old male from Sooke. Their names are being withheld as charged are not yet laid. Four of those arrested were released with out further process and are not facing criminal charges at this time.
Asked whether there was increased drug trafficking in Sooke, MacArthur said he didn’t think so.
“It’s been a slow and steady incline from the 1970s,” he said. “There are new drugs on the scene.”
What has increased is the trafficking and use of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and GHB. McArthur said marihuana was seized as well although the searches were not for that particular drug.
He said the crack down on drug traffickers is a high priority for the Sooke detachment.
“It (heavy drug use) leads to all kinds of things,” said McArthur, “like domestic violence, social decay, driving under the influence, property crime and violence in the manufacture and distribution,”
He said the RCMP are targeting those distributing hard drugs.
“This is the largest targeted drug enforcement project in recent years for the Sooke RCMP”, stated McArthur.
“Our targeted efforts have resulted in the removal of illegal drugs from our community, and provided valuable information to our investigators about who is actively involved in the local drug trade. We’ll be using this information to make additional arrests in the near future, and expect to lay more criminal charges against those involved.”
As this project remains ongoing, and criminal charges are now before the Courts, no additional details can be release.
If you have information to support your local RCMP in their efforts to combat the illegal drug trade in our community, call the Sooke RCMP at 250-642-5241, or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).