Charges have been announced for two suspects arrested in a large drug bust last June in Langford, which police say made a significant impact on the area’s drug trade.
Zachary Scott Matheson, a 36-year-old Langford man, now faces four counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, while Ali Arash Ziaee, a 26-year-old Saanich man, will be tried for one count of possession of a controlled substance and four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The pair were originally arrested by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. following the search of an apartment in the 2700-block of Peatt Road on June 6, 2013. Two more search warrants were executed on the same day, one in Saanich and one in Langford, where a significant amount of drugs were seized.
Police estimate the street value of the drugs seized to be over $500,000.
“They’re believed to supply middle men in the drug industry here on Vancouver Island,” said CFSEU-BC spokesperson Sgt. Lindsey Houghton. “This put a significant dent in the drug trade.
“The impact is lasting but of course everyone realizes that when drugs and money are taken off the streets, there’s a void that’s created and the other people who are involved in the criminal drug industry look to fill that void.”
Police say Matheson has a lengthy criminal record for property, drug and violence-related offences and is well known throughout Greater Victoria law enforcement.
CFSEU-BC announced the charges Tueday, Feb. 18. Houghton said the past eight months have been devoted to the investigation, which took some time due to the need to analyze forensic evidence and put together a case for Crown counsel.
During this time the suspects remained free, as they continue to. Both men will appear in Western Communities Courthouse on March 13 at 9 a.m.