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Victoria police bust pair with Lower Mainland gang ties

An undercover VicPD officer stands with kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine and about 300 grams of heroin at VicPD Headquarters on Caledonia Street Thursday. The drug haul was discovered in hidden compartments in minivans when police arrested two well-known gang associates April 10. The pair had only recently moved to Greater Victoria. - Daniel Palmer/News staff
An undercover VicPD officer stands with kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine and about 300 grams of heroin at VicPD Headquarters on Caledonia Street Thursday. The drug haul was discovered in hidden compartments in minivans when police arrested two well-known gang associates April 10. The pair had only recently moved to Greater Victoria.
— image credit: Daniel Palmer/News staff

Two "well-known" gang associates who moved to Saanich from the Lower Mainland in March are behind bars after police found kilograms of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin stuffed into hidden compartments in a Dodge minivan.

VicPD's covert surveillance unit Strikeforce tracked Arash Younus and Dustin Wadsworth for close to a month before executing search warrants on their residence in the 3100-block of Tillicum Rd. on April 10.

“These two are known to be upper-level distributors," said VicPD Insp. Brian Fox at a press conference Thursday. "Mr. Younus has long-standing links to gangs and gang violence in British Columbia and beyond. He is actively involved in the current gang conflict in B.C. and has close ties to a number of organized crime groups, including the Independent Soldiers.”

Inside hidden compartments in a seized vehicle, police discovered a loaded handgun, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine and over 300 grams of heroin with an estimated total value of $250,000. Another $6,500 cash was seized while executing the residential search warrant.

VicPD Sgt. Wade Murray of VicPD’s Focused Enforcement Team said a possible positive impact of the seizure could be a drop in property crime.

“There are many dealers who will take direct trade of stolen goods for $20 worth of cocaine,” Murray said. “$20 worth of cocaine will be traded for a laptop taken from a break and enter, ID from a purse taken in a theft from a car, a bike stolen from a garage or a shoplifted iPhone. Less drug activity means less property crime.”

The suspects next appear in Victoria Law Courts May 12 to face numerous charges drug and weapons charges.

See the GIF below from VicPD for an explanation of the drug and property crime link:

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