Nanaimo RCMP are hoping they have nipped the spread of aboriginal gang activity in the bud after arresting several people associated with the Redd Alert gang last week.
This is the first known incursion of the gang into Nanaimo.
“That’s the first time we’ve had any significance of Redd Alert or aboriginal gangs in Nanaimo – or at least having them charged,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “Why they’re here is because they’re trying to get entrenched in the drug culture.”
The arrests were made Friday after police pulled over a green Chevy Cavalier at about 1:30 p.m. The car was allegedly being used in drug sales.
One member of the Redd Alert gang was arrested at the scene for alleged drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.
“The Cavalier was seen all over town, so we certainly gathered enough intelligence there,” O’Brien said.
The investigation then led Mounties to an an apartment in the 1500 block of Boundary Crescent where they conducted a search at about 6:30 p.m. One man and two women were arrested at the apartment.
“The investigation started early in the week,” O’Brien said. “Information was that there were individuals associated to the Redd Alert aboriginal youth gang, who were based out of Kamloops, operating in Nanaimo.”
The Redd Alert gang originated in Edmonton in the late 1990s.
The two largest cells or offshoots of Redd Alert operate out of Kamloops and Vancouver’s downtown east side. The gang has smaller cells operating around Salmon Arm and Chase.
“They deal strictly in drugs, prostitution, theft, intimidation, weapons trafficking and they’re also involved in home invasions, drug rips, firearms offences,” O’Brien said. “They are prone to use violence to defend their drug territories and several members are known to carry knives, guns and to wear body armor. They’re involved in various assaults and use threats and intimidation to collect drug debts for amounts as small as $50 and under.”
Four people in total were arrested during the investigation.
Kevin Eric John, 32, an alleged member of the Redd Alert gang, from Kamloops; Christopher Ryan David, 22, of Nanaimo, and Terri Lynn Aleck, 21, of Nanaimo, were charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
One woman, 45, who police have not yet identified, is also facing possible charges for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.
All suspects were released and are scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court July 26.