Police were waiting when a man, allegedly with gang ties and carrying powdered and crack cocaine, stepped off the ferry at B.C. Ferries Departure Bay terminal.
The bust happened July 30 following an investigation that started in early 2014 when the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. Vancouver Island office looked into alleged drug activities of a former Dhak-Duhre crime group member living in Vancouver and his lieutenant on the Island. Police suspected both men of controlling and operating multiple drug lines in Nanaimo and Victoria.
On June 20, the combined forces unit and Victoria Police Department partnered up to search a suspected drug stash house in an apartment block in Esquimalt where police found 737 grams of cocaine.
One man and his sister were arrested and released pending criminal charges.
The investigation continued until July 30 when combined forces unit members saw the primary target meeting in Vancouver with the suspect from Nanaimo, who caught a ferry to Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay.
He was arrested at the Departure Bay terminal with 424 grams of crack and powdered cocaine and 59 grams of “buff” (a substance used to dilute cocaine) in the crotch of his pants.
Meanwhile the investigators’ primary targeted suspect was on another ferry from Vancouver to the Island. He was arrested at the Swartz Bay B.C. Ferry Terminal in his vehicle with the help from Sidney RCMP after getting off the ferry.
Police seized a small quantity of Oxycontin in that arrest.
With both men in custody, police searched the primary target’s residence in Vancouver. No drugs were found, but multiple items to support trafficking charges were seized, including a money counter, paraphernalia used for cooking crack cocaine and empty kilogram wrappers.
The total amount of drugs seized during the investigation was 1.161 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $69,500; 59 grams of buff worth $100; and four tablets of Oxycontin valued at $120.
Both men were released from custody pending drug-related charges being formally laid by Crown Counsel.