The neighbourhood of Windmill Crescent – home of many families and even a home daycare – was disrupted by heavy police presence Wednesday and Thursday after a search netted loaded weapons, cash, drugs, an illegal synthetic drug lab and an arrest.
“It’s scary,” said one area resident. “This is a quiet family neighbourhood. We usually never see police even driving on our street, until this.”
A spokesperson for the RCMP’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) said the take down was part of the unit’s continued focused enforcement on groups and individuals allegedly involved in the drug trade in the Cariboo/Chilcotin, Williams Lake and Quesnel regions. The 20-year-old suspect in this case had been the focus of an month-long police investigation into his alleged drug trafficking in the Williams Lake area and culminated in his arrest Wednesday evening.
A small amount of what is suspected to be cocaine was seized following the suspect’s arrest, said a CFSEU-BC spokesperson.
But it was what was found inside the suspect’s home following a police search that has everyone concerned; including an estimated one kilogram of cocaine, an unknown quantity of suspected methamphetamine, two loaded handguns, two semi-automatic rifles, ammunition, a homemade firearm sound suppressor, edged weapons, thousands of dollars in cash and drug paraphernalia.
“He seemed like a decent guy,” said another neighbour. “He was friendly but he did have aggressive Pitbulls.”
Additionally, as officers were searching the basement of the residence, they also discovered substances and paraphernalia consistent with what is believed to be an illegal synthetic drug lab. A preliminary risk assessment was conducted by an investigator who determined the lab was not currently in use, but contact was immediately made with the RCMP’s Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team, a specialized federal police unit responsible for dismantling clandestine drug laboratories that supports police agencies across the province.
Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley said the CFSEU-BC and local RCMP officers have made a focused effort to remove drug dealers from local communities.
“We’ve been working collectively with CFSEU-BC to keep the pressure on our priority offenders and it’s working,” said Pelley at the site of the search Thursday. “CFSEU-BC members did a great job here.”
The 20-year-old man who was arrested remains in custody, but charges have not yet been laid.
The CFSEU-BC said they would like to thank the Williams Lake RCMP and the RCMP’s Federal CLEAR Team for their assistance during this most recent phase of the investigation.
With files from the CFSEU-BC media release