A 40-year-old man was arrested at gunpoint at Douglas and Finlayson streets this week in the dramatic culmination of a drug investigation that involved searches of a 33-foot pleasure craft, two businesses and a pair of residences.
“He’s not the king of the castle, but certainly a high-level dealer,” Victoria police Const. Mike Russell said of the suspect. “Certainly putting through a lot of cocaine, heroin, GHB, marijuana.”
Searches of all five locations were carried out in the space of an hour Wednesday following the arrest.
The searches also led to the arrest of another 40-year-old man and three women in their late 20s, as well as turning up more than $40,000 in cash and drugs. The only weapon of note found was a machete.
Application will be made to have the boat — a cabin cruiser — and four vehicles forfeited, because officers believed they were used in the drug trade. Officers estimated the boat’s value at $30,000 to $50,000. The value of the vehicles, three cars and a van, appears to be limited since none is a newer model.
The Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team was in charge of arresting the man, who was in a vehicle at the busy intersection.
The investigation into the alleged drug activity involved over 40 officers, including members of Victoria’s Strike Force and Crime Reduction Unit and the Street Crime Unit from Saanich.
Officers conducted surveillance that was vital to obtaining the search warrants, Russell said.
“The suspect was observed supplying drugs throughout [Greater Victoria], around-the-clock and on a daily basis.”
The two businesses searched were in the 500-block of John Street, while one residence was in the 300-block of Burnside Road West and the other was in the 800-block of Johnson Street.
Const. Marty Steen, lead investigator in the case, said co-operation between Victoria and Saanich police was an important part of the operation’s success.
The main suspect has been released and will be called to attend court at a later date. The others arrested have also been released.
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