Eight arrested in simultaneous Greater Victoria drug raids

Dozens of police officers, including emergency response team members, seized drugs, weapons and vehicles and arrested eight people with suspected gang ties after carrying out simultaneous early-morning raids in Langford, downtown Victoria and Vic West.

Victoria police, with the help of West Shore RCMP, targeted three homes linked to drug trafficking: 940 Walfred Rd. in Langford, an apartment suite at 707 Esquimalt Rd. in Vic West and a condo unit in the Union Building at 517 Fisgard St. in Victoria’s Chinatown. The raids took place last Friday.

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West Shore RCMP confirmed an RCMP emergency response team assisted Victoria police in the arrests at 940 Walfred Rd., a newer two-storey duplex in a family area at the end of Jacklin Road in Langford.

Neighbours said police officers armed with assault rifles surrounded the house about 5 a.m. and arrested a man and his girlfriend. Two luxury vehicles were also seized.

Neighbours said the man, Jefferson Delalcazar, was back by that afternoon.

Questioned by neighbours about what happened, Delalcazar said police were looking for drugs but did not find any.

He and his girlfriend have been renting the house for the last four months. Delalcazar has not been charged.

Outside the duplex on Thursday, there was a broken dining-room chair and damage to the front door.

The landlord could not be contacted on Thursday.

Delalcazar is the brother of Erickson Lopez Delalcazar, who was charged in January 2008 in connection with what was, at the time, the biggest cocaine bust in Alberta’s history, with 67 kilograms of cocaine seized.

Erickson Lopez Delalcazar was a high-school friend of Lindsay Buziak, the 24-year-old real estate agent who was murdered on Feb. 2, 2008, in a vacant house that was for sale.

Buziak met with her high-school friend in Calgary six weeks before she was killed, but Saanich police have said there’s no connection between him and Buziak’s murder.

Victoria police refused to confirm details of the raids, saying their investigation is ongoing.

A fourth-floor resident at 707 Esquimalt Rd. in Vic West said he was woken about 5 a.m. on March 20 to the sound of a big bang and someone yelling “police, warrant.”

Lee Murray Bonwick was arrested at the Vic West apartment, accused of possessing methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

He is charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, according to court documents.

Aaron William Perez, who was arrested at the Fisgard Street condo where he lives with his girlfriend, is facing multiple counts of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

According to court documents, he is accused of possessing marijuana “in an amount not exceeding three kilograms” and methamphetamine.

Perez was also accused of possessing a stun gun, which led to charges of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Some of those arrested in the raids have been released without charge.

Residents at the Union Building on Fisgard Street said the day after the raid in the fifth-floor suite, police and an ambulance were called to the same unit after a woman ran down the hallway covered in blood.

Stunned residents initially thought it was a stabbing, but Victoria police said the wounds were self-inflicted.

The incident was not linked to the arrests the day before, said Victoria police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

Perez and Bonwick, both in their 30s, were scheduled to appear in court on Monday, but were remanded into custody until their next court date April 8.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

This is a corrected version of an earlier story.

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