Drugs, cash and weapons seized in north Nanaimo bust

Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O
Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien displays the drugs, cash and weapons discovered during the arrest of a Nanaimo man Wednesday.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Police had drugs, cash and firearms on display at Nanaimo RCMP detachment Wednesday after arresting a suspected drug dealer with ties to organized crime on the Lower Mainland.

The arrest happened Thursday at about 8 p.m. when police stopped and searched the suspect’s car in the parking lot of an apartment building in the 4700 block of Uplands Drive in north Nanaimo.

During the arrest the suspect became confrontational and assaulted a police officer.

“Our plain clothes unit knows this guy’s been involved in drug activity for several months,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “So this person was being surveilled and the information all came together on Friday. How it came together is just – files come together, so they had enough information to act on it and they did.”

O’Brien credited the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit for providing intelligence to Nanaimo RCMP to assist with the investigation.

Investigators caught the suspect in his car, which was pulled into a parking stall at his residence.

The search of the car turned up $3,000.

A search of the man’s apartment unearthed in excess of $18,000 in cash, plus nearly 1,300 grams of cocaine, 300 grams of methamphetamine and more than 170 grams of heroin. Street value of the drugs is estimated at $181,000.

Police also found a loaded .40-calibre Glock handgun, bow and arrows, an assortment of knives, a sword, hatchet and brass knuckles.

O’Brien said the suspect has ties to the Red Scorpions gang in the Lower Mainland.

“This guy has direct ties to associates of the Red Scorpions,” O’Brien said. “They’ve got their fingerprints all through Nanaimo and have had for some time.”

The arrest and seizure will likely disrupt the local cocaine supply for at least several weeks, but police expect other organized crime elements attempt to fill the void.

“There will probably be some play for other people to step in and take over that line and it will interesting to see where that goes,” O’Brien said. “Nobody should be surprised when they do these searches and they find large amounts of drugs and loaded handguns because violence is synonymous with this kind of work.”

Police – who are recommending charges of three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a restricted firearm, careless storage of a firearm, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer – have not identified the suspect, who was released on a promise to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court Feb. 26. O’Brien said the investigation is far from over and police expect to make further arrests in the case.

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