In the wake of several drug busts and shootings in the Tri-Cities and efforts to combat gang recruitment, Mounties are shedding light on an uncomfortable reality (quite literally) of gang life.
While conducting a search of two suspects arrested the night of May 14, Surrey RCMP found a large bag of various and potentially deadly drugs sticking out of one man’s rectum.
They — along with a second male suspect — were originally arrested when Community Response Unit officers found evidence of drug trafficking in a rental vehicle they pulled over in the 1500-block of 16 Avenue while investigating a BC Motor Vehicle Act offense.
When the bag was extracted, it contained 18 rocks of suspected crack cocaine and 26 spitballs of suspected powder cocaine weighing 9.05 and 14.05 grams respectively.
Grim image aside, Surrey RCMP are sharing this information to present gang-life’s ugly reality to the public.
“There are gang members on social media trying to sell the idea that gang life is a life of wealth, luxury and prestige,” says spokesperson Cst. Sarbjit Sangha in a news release today (May 19).
“The reality is that gang members live in constant fear of getting robbed or murdered by other gang members, or getting arrested by police. This is the reason why they risk their lives by sticking bags of deadly drugs into their rectums.”
Multiple cell phones were also found among the two suspects, who were released from custody pending an investigation and further charges, which will include a lab analysis of the suspected drugs.
This is the latest of a stint of drug busts by RCMP connected to gang-life in the region.
PORT COQUITLAM WAREHOUSE BUST
On April 19, Mounties executed a search warrant and seized 37 kilograms of chemicals associated with the manufacturing of pure fentanyl from an illicit drug-manufacturing site in a Port Coquitlam commercial warehouse.
According to experts, the quantity of chemical precursors had a potential finished yield of 26 kilograms of pure fentanyl and if left untouched, police believe the lab was capable of producing the same volume of pure fentanyl on a ‘weekly basis.’
RCMP also believe the seizure dealt a “multi-million-dollar blow to organized crime and gangs in B.C.; helping attack the income sources of those who put our communities at risk with drug trafficking; and the gang violence that accompanies it.”
TRI-CITIES MAN ARRESTED BY ANTI-GANG SQUAD
On May 9, a 27-year-old Coquitlam man was arrested in Surrey with a partial brick of cocaine in his car. His identity hasn’t been released as of this publication.
RCMP explain the arrest happened after members of the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team (SGET) spotted a speeding vehicle and, when the driver didn’t stop, they tried to get ahead of his vehicle with other units in the area.
After he had no where to go and was eventually taken into custody, police allegedly found a partial 247-gram brick of “suspected” cocaine, enough for street-level sale of 1,225 doses or 25 bus-loads of people.
Additionally, police also found multiple cell phones, $160 in cash and a knife, all of which were seized as ‘offence-related property.’
The man was released at the scene; charges have not yet been laid.
This bust was two weeks after members of a Metro Vancouver’s anti-gang unit seized five guns from a Coquitlam home after investigating a suspicious vehicle at Coquitlam Centre mall.
The efforts by gang enforcement units are part of a campaign to clamp down on ongoing gang violence following a spate of recent shootings including in Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley, Richmond and Coquitlam.
Anyone with more information on gang- or drug-related activity is encouraged to call their local detachment, anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to www.solvecrime.ca.
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News