Kamloops Mounties bust 'very sophisticated' dial-a-dope operation
Kamloops Mounties say they have delivered a major blow to the Tournament Capital's drug trade, busting what they call "an extremely sophisticated" dial-a-dope operation being run by a Lower Mainland criminal gang.
RCMP Supt. Yves Lacasse said local drug investigators were aided by federal resources in an eight-month operation — dubbed Project E-Nocturnal — culminating in five search warrants executed in Kamloops last week.
The result was on display for media at a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 18, including 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, $142,000 in cash, three firearms, ammunition, three vehicles, a cocaine press and other drug paraphernalia.
Nine people were arrested during the raids, Lacasse said, but all have since been released "on strict conditions."
The eight men and one woman, ranging in age from 20 to 40, are expected to be formally charged in the coming weeks.
"This drug operation effectively shut down a major supplier of cocaine to Kamloops," Lacasse said, noting the investigation included the use of undercover officers and wiretaps for phone calls and text messages.
"This was extremely sophisticated. They ran this like an actual business. They had people working shift work, they had a reporting structure, they had expense claims they were giving back to their leader."
Usually, Lacasse said, dial-a-dope operations supply drugs to low-income addicts.
This one was, apparently, different.
Lacasse said most of the clients were from a "well-established, employed cross-section of the community" — people who could afford a $1,000 per month cocaine habit.
"We're talking about people in the community that do have jobs, that do have families," he said.
Lacasse would not say to which Lower Mainland gang the operation was associated.
"We prefer to stay away from that right now," he said. "But, it's a well-known gang."
Among the charges being recommended to federal Crown prosecutors are counts of commission of an offence for a criminal organization — punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
No names were released, but Lacasse said the person suspected of running the dial-a-dope operation is a Kamloops man.
He said the investigation is further evidence of the Kamloops RCMP detachment's commitment to keeping organized crime out of the Tournament Capital.
"We're going to do everything within our laws to come after you," he said.
"And, I think we have a pretty good track record with that."