An alleged member of a violent drug trafficking gang in Greater Victoria now faces charges after being busted last April.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC), aided by the West Shore RCMP and Saanich police, arrested three men in April, all who are linked to distributing drugs in southern Vancouver Island.
On Tuesday, Crown approved a drug trafficking and weapons charge against 35-year-old Adam Blair Maxted Smith, of Sooke. On April 10, the CFSEU-BC arrested Smith in Delta allegedly with four kilograms of cocaine, and then found a revolver in his Sooke home.
Yoshiaki Shibanuma, 31, of Vancouver, also faces a drug trafficking charge related to the same investigation.
CFSEU-BC allege the men are part of a drug network that imports cocaine from the Lower Mainland to southern Vancouver Island to supply “dial-a-dope” drug dealers.
Sgt. Lindsey Houghton said the men “aren’t big fish,” but caught with an alleged four kilograms of cocaine – worth about $100,000 – they aren’t minnows either.
CFSEU-BC nabbed another 35-year-old man in Victoria on the same day in April, an individual thought to be the leader of the drug trafficking gang. Houghton said charges aren’t expected against this man, and he still resides in Greater Victoria.
Houghton said the leader of the gang frequently uses violence to enforce his turf in the region.
“They use violence against rivals, and the leader of this drug network cell is the most violent player in the group,” he said.
CFSEU-BC officers and Saanich police also had arrested a 29-year-old Saanich man on April 9 in an associated investigation. Officers found a pound of marijuana, a 9mm handgun, and ammo in his 4000-block Saanich Road home.
Crown has yet to approve charges.
In June, the CFSEU-BC arrested two high-level drug traffickers in Victoria, a Saanich man and a Langford man, and seized $542,000 worth of marijuana and cocaine. Investigators also found gun holsters, but no guns.
The men, described as “top of the food chain for the Greater Victoria area” for drug trafficking, were released and have yet to be charged.