Victoria police are recommending that two condos be seized after taking down a drug-delivery operation that served users throughout the capital region.
The police department’s strike force section confiscated $25,000 in cash, about $20,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine, and a handgun. Officers say the prolific drug operation reached as far as Sooke, Sidney and several communities in between.
Investigators arrested three people on Friday and searched two condos in the 1400-block of Stadacona Avenue in Victoria. In these two homes, they found the drugs, cash and the weapon.
Dealers in the dial-a-dope operation stashed their drugs inside a fake Duracell battery, which was concealed inside a flashlight. Victoria police spokesman Mike Russell joked that the misspelled “Durasell” label made it easy for officers to identify the stash.
“Our keen investigators were able to pick up on that immediately,” he said.
A 34-year-old Victoria man and his accomplice, a 31-year-old Vancouver woman, are expected to face charges. Both have been released but will be in court at a later date. A 28-year-old Victoria woman was arrested at the time and her ties to this operation are still under investigation.
“Dismantling this dial-a-dope operation continues to send a powerful signal to other criminal enterprises,” said Inspector Brian Fox, the officer in charge of the operational support division. “Our crime-reduction strategy is designed to target exactly these types of criminals and disrupt their organization.”
Police say the dealers operated from the two condos and proceeds were used to pay for the homes. Investigators will apply to the province’s civil forfeiture office to have the homes seized.
The last time a home was taken in Victoria was about three years ago, say police.
Officers boasted about taking a large amount of drugs off the streets, but recognize that the demand will only be met by another supplier.
Fox, however, is confident others will also be arrested.
“It doesn’t matter where in the CRD you live, if you ply your trade in Victoria or Esquimalt, we’re already onto you,” Fox said.
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