As community members raise concerns about growing prescription drug abuse problems, police continue to charge drug dealers.
“In the past year the Combined Forces Organized Crime Unit (has) investigated 149 drug investigations netting over $4 million worth of drugs and money and have laid over 150 charges,” said Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Sgt. Jackie George.
“That’s more than 6,300 Oxy pills, along with approximately 240 grams of cocaine and approximately 120 pounds of marijuana.”
The Combined Forces Organized Crime Unit, which consists of NAPS, Thunder Bay Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Anishinabek Police, and the Toronto OPP Drug Enforcement Section recently laid charges after close to a two-year investigation into the importation of Oxycodone to NAN communities.
Jabir Khan, a 37-year-old resident of North York, was charged with trafficking a controlled substance and possession of proceeds of crime. A search warrant executed at his residence at the time of his arrest resulted in the seizure of $13,000 in currency. Khan was flown to Thunder Bay for custody, where he is awaiting a bail hearing.
Two males and one female were also charged in connection with the investigation: 20-year-old Clinton Netemegesic of Thunder Bay was charged with proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000 while 36-year-old Bazil McIntosh and 32-year-old Brandie Mosher, both of Toronto, were charged with proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000 and trafficking a controlled substance.
The investigation, which is still on-going at this time, has resulted in the seizure of about $360,000 of Oxycodone tablets and about $60,000 in currency.
“This is a problem that does not only exist in NAN,” George said. “It exists everywhere. You can go anywhere and everybody is talking about the drug problem.”
George encourages anyone who has information about drug offences to call the NAPS confidential tip line at 1-888-737-3442, e-mail the NAPS Drug Enforcement Unit at email@example.com, or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
“They don’t have call display,” George said. “They take the information down and if it’s something in our jurisdiction Crimestoppers will contact our drug officers.”
George said police work requires information from the public.
“The public is the key,” George said. “A lot of our work in drug enforcement is due to the information that we get from the public. We need to take extra steps to follow up on the information. It is nothing we can react on immediately, so we need the public to continue to provide us with information.”
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