40 people charged after year-long investigation by anti-gang unit in Northern British Columbia

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Forty people will be facing charges after drugs, guns and tens of thousands of dollars in cash were seized by police following a year-long investigation in Northern B.C. The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. said Friday police units across the North and Peace regions worked together on the “complex” investigation into street and mid-level drug traffickers.

“These enforcement actions are a blow to the capabilities of certain gang members in B.C.’s North and Peace regions,” said Chief Supt. Kevin Hackett of the anti-gang unit.

The agency said it began the investigation last July and was at times assisted by the Dawson Creek RCMP and Fort St. John RCMP.

Chief Supt. Lesley Bain of the RCMP E Division North District Commander said there were “no geographic boundaries” when it came to the offences in B.C. — arrests were linked to the Fraser Valley, Williams Lake, and Prince George.

“Success was due to an intelligence-based, targeted and coordinated approach which will continue to be a priority for North District,” she said.

Forty three people either have or will be facing charges related to this investigation. Police said they are still trying to locate 14 of those individuals to make arrests.

One person has already been sentenced and two others have been officially charged.

In December 2015, Jamie Christopher St. Denis from Dawson Creek was allegedly found with Christina Marie Mackay trying to sell 24 ounces of cocaine for $39,000 in the city.

St. Denis, 37, pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine and possession of an illegal firearm.

He was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail.

MacKay, a 30-year-old from Bay Tree, AB, was charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of breach of conditions.

Thirty-six-year old Ryan Holden, also from Dawson Creek, has also been charged with drug and firearm related offences.

Police said of the group of 43 people, 29 were identified during nine “round-ups” that took place over six months.

earch warrants and traffic stops over the year led to the seizures of drugs and firearms which include:

  • One .22 caliber rifle
  • One loaded 12 gauge shotgun
  • One AR-15 semi-automatic rifle
  • 74 ounces of cocaine
  • approximately 700 fentanyl pills
  • 3.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine
  • 1.75 litres of liquid GHB, known as the date rape drug
  • approximately $70,000 in cash

Last November, police sought the public’s help in trying to curb a growing drug turf war in Dawson Creek.

RCMP in the area believed there were as many as six gangs involved.

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