Drug dealers have peo­ple ter­ri­fied: con­cerned res­i­dent

RCMP do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to nab dealers: cor­po­ral

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY DENISE PIKE

Drug dealers are mak­ing life mis­er­able for res­i­dents in the West­ern and North­ern Bay area, North shore res­i­dents say

“ We’re at our wits end down here,” said Ge­orge, who called The Com­pass April 7. “ If the po­lice don’t do some­thing about the sit­u­a­tion here soon, you’re go­ing to see a vig­i­lante group formed to get rid of th­ese drug dealers.”

Ge­orge, who asked not to have his real name used out of fear of re­tal­i­a­tion from one of the dealers, says peo­ple in the area are ter­ri­fied.

“ Th­ese low life dealers are do­ing what they want, sell­ing to who­ever is will­ing to buy from them,” he said. “It’s noth­ing to see any­where from 30 to 50 cars on this one par­tic­u­lar road, on any given day, head­ing to one of th­ese dealer’s houses to buy drugs.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­orge, a few weeks ago (March 28) some­one de­lib­er­ately set fire to a car in the Ochre Pit Cove area. He fig­ures it was ei­ther one of the drug dealers or some­one who was high.

“If the po­lice don’t do some­thing about the sit­u­a­tion here soon, you’re

go­ing to see a vig­i­lante group formed to get rid of

th­ese drug dealers”.

— Ge­orge, North­ern Bay area

“It was just a wreck, but it caught fire and then ex­ploded,” he said. “ It was just like some­thing you would see on new footage out of Afghanistan. The place down here (North­ern Bay) is just not safe any­more. The drugs are ram­pant.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ge­orge the fol­low­ing morn­ing there was a sign posted up in the same area where the car was burned which said “Co­caine for sale.”

“It also said “ Your time is up” and con­tained some vul­gar­ity too,” he said.

Ge­orge says he has called the RCMP sev­eral times and com­plained about the drug sit­u­a­tion, but hasn’t seen much im­prove­ment.

“ I don’t get it, the RCMP knows who th­ese dealers are why aren’t they do­ing more to get them?” he said.

Many tar­gets

Cor­po­ral Tom Mur­ray of the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP says more is go­ing on be­hind the scenes than the pub­lic is aware of and that of­fi­cers are do­ing all they can to catch the dealers.

“ It’s of­ten very dif­fi­cult to catch th­ese dealers. Drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion is te­dious work,” said Cpl. Mur­ray. “ We just can’t go out and ar­rest some­one or go into their house and con­duct a search. We have to have a search war­rant and to do that we first have to do all the leg­work and lay the case out for a judge be­fore a war­rant is is­sued. We have to op­er­ate within the con­fines of the ju­di­cial sys­tem and our hands are of­ten tied. It takes a while for us to build a case and I don’t think the pub­lic un­der­stands this. We are gov­erned by the law as

“We’re do­ing what we can with the re­sources we have been

given to ar­rest th­ese peo­ple. We need the sup­port of the pub­lic with this though. Peo­ple need to come for­ward and give us what­ever in­for­ma­tion they have to help with the

in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

— Cor­po­ral Tom Mur­ray, Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP

well and there has to be rea­son­able grounds for us to in­ves­ti­gate and then prove some­one is deal­ing drugs.”

Nev­er­the­less mem­bers of the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP are work­ing on many drug re­lated cases.

“ We have many tar­gets that we are aim­ing for and pur­su­ing,” Mur­ray said. “ Two mem­bers of our Gen­eral In­ves­ti­ga­tions Sec­tions are ded­i­cated to in­ves­ti­gat­ing and ar­rest­ing as many of th­ese dealers as we can, but there’s no magic or quick so­lu­tion here. It isn’t go­ing to hap­pen overnight.”

Of­ten even when it seems like noth­ing is hap­pen­ing, the po­lice are watch­ing.

“ Sur­veil­lance is a big part of our in­ves­ti­ga­tions and we have a run­ning file of drug in­tel­li­gence in the district,” said Mur­ray. “ We have many peo­ple that we are keep­ing an eye on and pur­su­ing and we will even­tu­ally get them. We don’t al­ways get the moth­er­load, but we are do­ing what we can to catch the dealers.”

Pub­lic sup­port needed

Mur­ray ac­knowl­edges some com­plaints have been made by the pub­lic about drug dealers in the West­ern and North­ern Bay area, how­ever he feels drug traf­fick­ing has in­creased all over the prov­ince.

“I can’t com­ment on a prob­lem in a spe­cific area, but the amount of drugs on the streets is an in­creas­ing con­cern,” he said. “ There’s more drugs across Canada and in the prov­ince there­fore we know it is go­ing to trickle into ru­ral places and into small com­mu­ni­ties. It’s all over.”

When it comes to clean­ing up on drugs and catch­ing the dealers, the cor­po­ral wants the pub­lic to do their part.

“ We rely on Crimestop­pers a lot, where peo­ple can anony­mously call us and give us in­for­ma­tion. We also use in­for­mants and pay peo­ple for in­for­ma­tion. We have a di­verse sys­tem in place to build a case and take drug dealers off the street. We’re do­ing what we can with the re­sources we have been given to ar­rest th­ese peo­ple. We need the sup­port of the pub­lic with this though. Peo­ple need to come for­ward and give us what­ever in­forma- tion they have to help with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

Not in­formed

As for the car that was caught on fire in the Ochre Pit Cove area on March 28, the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP say they were never in­formed about it.

How­ever a mem­ber of the North Shore Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment told The Com­pass their depart­ment re­sponded to a car fire on that date.

“ The per­son who owned the land the car was on is de­ceased and the car had long been aban­doned,” said the fire­fighter. “ We just put the fire out and left it at that. We don’t know how it started.”

The RCMP also doesn’t know any­thing about a sign be­ing posted in the Ochre Pit Cove area ad­ver­tis­ing co­caine. That re­sponse has Ge­orge con­fused.

“ Well a cou­ple of cops came here, re­moved that sign and took it with them, so some­one knows some­thing,” he says.

EC­STASY - Th­ese are the Ec­stasy pills RCMP found when they searched a ve­hi­cle near the mall in Carbonear last week. The dis­cov­ery led to the ar­rest of two men who are be­ing held in cus­tody un­til their next court ap­pear­ance Thurs­day.

Pho­tos cour­tesy RCMP

WEAPON OF CHOICE - This is the piece of 2 X 3 po­lice found when they searched a sus­pi­cious ve­hi­cle near the T. C. Square in Carbonear last Thurs­day. They also found a 9-inch dag­ger type knife.

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