Three adults have been arrested for drug trafficking in Central Saanich and across the Greater Victoria area. According to a media release from Central Saanich Police, two males and one female were arrested on Tues. Mar. 6 in co-operation with North Saanich/Sidney RCMP.
The first male was arrested on the Trans Canada Highway at Koksilah Road in the Cowichan Valley during a traffic stop. The Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) assisted to arrest the second male during a traffic stop on the Trans Canada Highway near Admirals Road. The female was arrested at a home on Benvenuto Ave. during a search warrant, where cash and cocaine were seized.
Police recommend charges of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Sgt. Paul Brailey of Central Saanich Police said in an interview that that police learned about a suspicious home on Benvenuto Avenue several months ago, and began some surveillance work. The arrests were the result of a month-long invesigation. The GVERT were asked to assist because of their experience with tactical driving — Brailey said “we didn’t want to get into a pursuit.”
Brailey said they were low to mid-level dealers, and there was no direct connection to organized crime, but he said “up the food chain, there’s always something.”
The suspects have been released with a promise to appear. They are due in court in mid-May.
In a statement, Central Saanich police chief Les Sylven said the department will host a public forum in May “to bring together community partners to talk about what we can all do to keep Central Saanich safe from the crisis that has impacted other jurisdictions across B.C.” Brailey said the forum is designed to teach people what a drug dealer’s home might look like (cars and people coming and going at all hours of the day, for example), and the effects of fentanyl on the community.
Updated Fri. Mar. 9, 12:30 p.m. with quotes from Sgt. Paul Brailey.