West Shore RCMP was part of a multi-jurisdictional drug bust that led to kilograms of drugs being seized, as well as guns that included an AR15 rifle.
A group of law enforcement agencies, including Saanich and Victoria Police, executed nine search warrants on vehicles and houses located in Langford, Malahat, Saanich and Victoria.
“Drugs and Organized Crime Unit investigators are dedicated to disrupting drug trafficking and organized crime. This was a significant seizure that will impact drug trafficking beyond the West Shore. We thank our partner agencies for their help in this large investigation,” Sgt. Ryan Walsh with West Shore RCMP’s drugs and organized crime unit said in a statement.
The seizure saw a “significant amount of drugs, cash and firearms” taken, according to the police statement, including a loaded 50-calibre Desert Eagle handgun and an AR15-style rifle.
There was around six kilograms of drugs seized, which police suspect to be a combination of cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and psilocybin, as well as around six litres of liquid drugs suspected to be GHB.
There was also around a thousand unknown pills, drug packing materials and a gas mask, boxes of ammunition, $6,000 in cash and $10,000 worth of suspected stolen property.
As a region, the West Shore saw a slight dip in drug-related offences in 2022 compared with 2021, according to the detachment’s annual report.
There were 178 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) Violations in 2022, representing a two-per-cent decrease compared to 2021. Of those, the majority were drug possession violations. The fifth-most common offence was trafficking fentanyl, which comprised 6.74 per cent of those 178 incidents.
In its report, the detachment did note how recent provincial law changes allowing British Columbians to possess up to 2.5 grams of certain illegal drugs for personal use may mean some changes to charges in the CDSA, but wouldn’t mean too drastic a shift operationally.
“It should be noted that prior to this change, police very seldom charged individuals who were in possession of small quantities of illicit drugs. Often, police would seize these drugs without charging the individual unless they were found breaching court ordered conditions to not be in possession of drugs,” the annual report reads.
The rule change will last three years and applies to various different drugs, including heroin, morphine and fentanyl, as well as crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamine; and MDMA (ecstasy).
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