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Investigation of Island crime group tied to Hells Angels results in arrests, seizures

A year-long investigation into the alleged drug-trafficking activities of a Vancouver Island crime group has resulted in the arrest of several people and the seizure of illegal drugs and firearms. B.C.

A year-long investigation into the alleged drug-trafficking activities of a Vancouver Island crime group has resulted in the arrest of several people and the seizure of illegal drugs and firearms.

B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which targets gangs, began the investigation last January into an alleged organized drug-trafficking network with ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

The arrests were made at multiple Vancouver Island locations.

Four search warrants were executed in the Comox Valley and Campbell River areas early Jan. 13, and located about 3.5 kilograms of suspected cocaine, about $160,000 in Canadian currency, and firearms that included a handgun, a semi-automatic gun, sawed-off shotguns, long guns and ammunition. As well, a vehicle was seized along with Hells Angels paraphernalia.

Police made a total of six arrests, including a 43-year-old Campbell River man, a 57-year-old Comox man, a 39-year-old Cumberland man, a 46-year-old Comox woman, a 32-year-old Sooke man and a 29-year-old Victoria woman.

All have been released pending charges.

“We know small communities and areas outside the Lower Mainland are not immune to the negative effects of guns and organized crime,” said Supt. Duncan Pound, deputy operations officer for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. “These groups prey upon the most vulnerable through the sale of often-deadly drugs and using fear and intimidation in order to advance their illicit enterprises.

“Working with our partners on Vancouver Island in a collaborative and co-ordinated effort is critical to ensuring that those who seek to put us and our communities at risk are held accountable.”

jbell@timescolonist.com