Five arrested after year-long drug investigation 

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Five people, four residents of Whistler and one male from Mt. Currie, were picked up last week after a year-long drug investigation that centred around a residence on Northlands Boulevard.

The RCMP obtained a search warrant on Jan. 12 and arrested one suspect who was home at the time. The four other suspects were arrested on Jan. 15. The RCMP is recommending charges of trafficking and possession for the purposes of trafficking cocaine. As well, the RCMP have sent other substances obtained at the residence for testing to determine if other drugs were involved.

According to Constable Jeff Shore, the investigation started a year ago when an off-duty officer was offered drugs in the village after bar close. What followed was a significant investigation that implicated all five of the suspects, resulting in the warrant.

The police would not say how much cocaine was seized, but said the group was trafficking at the gram and ounce level, and that it was a significant investigation for the small Whistler detachment.

The suspects are a 36-year-old male from Mt. Currie, males from Whistler aged 34, 28 and 22 and a 35-year-old Whistler female.

Australian snowboarder succumbs to head injury

Brad Muster, a 24-year-old Australian visiting Whistler with his girlfriend, succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 17 after slipping and falling in a steep treed area on Whistler Mountain.

The accident occurred just after 11 a.m. Muster and his girlfriend, identified by Australian newspapers only as Kate, has snowboarded into the area to skier's right of Rat Fink and "found themselves in steeper terrain than they were able to handle and removed their snowboards in an attempt to walk down the steep slope," according to a release from the RCMP. "The male slipped, slid down the slope and impacted with some trees." He was not wearing a helmet.

A ski patroller was at the scene and providing CPR by 11:15 a.m., and within minutes other patrollers and two on-mountain doctors joined life saving efforts. The male was then taken by helicopter to the Whistler Health Care Centre, and then transferred again by helicopter to a hospital in Vancouver where he died shortly after 7 p.m. The coroner's service is investigating.

Whistler Blackcomb's Critical Incident Team is providing support to those involved and expressed their condolences to the male's family and friends. As well, Whistler Blackcomb is advising all guests to be familiar with the terrain before travelling off groomed, marked areas within the ski area boundary.

The area is marked by "cliff" signs, but was not otherwise roped off.

Muster, who hails from Freeling, was a celebrated athlete in his hometown, the captain of his soccer team and an avid cricket player. He was also an accomplished snowboarder, and was in Whistler with a group of up to eight friends when the incident happened on their last day at the resort.

It was the second death on Whistler Mountain in as many weeks. On Jan. 7, 43-year-old Sean Miller fell roughly 70 feet to his death after skiing off a cliff in an area known as Tiger's Terrace. The coroner's office is investigating the incident, while Whistler Blackcomb announced plans last week to increase markings in in-bounds cliff areas.

Male suffers brain injury in assault

The RCMP are investigating an assault that wasn't reported until Jan. 21, but took place in the early morning hours of Jan. 18 in the Golfer's Approach area of the Village Stroll.

According to the victim, he was jumped by four other males. He managed to walk home on his own, but was later taken to the health care centre for treatment. That led to the male being taken to a hospital in Vancouver to undergo emergency brain surgery, which is when the incident was reported to the RCMP.

The RCMP did not had a chance to interview the male before press time, but understand that he's in stable condition.

If you witnessed this attack or have any information, contact the Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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