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Operation Hagrid: RCMP arrests 13 in drug trafficking investigation, Dartmouth, N.S.

2015/10/30

RCMP in Nova Scotia, with assistance from RCMP in British Columbia, have arrested 13 individuals following a five month investigation into drug trafficking and money laundering.

The investigation targeted a suspected a drug trafficking network operating in the Lower Mainland of B.C.

and extending across Canada. They were believed to be distributing large quantities of marihuana from the Vancouver area to points in central and eastern Canada: Toronto, ON; Montreal, QC; Halifax, N.S; and St John’s, N.L.

The investigation confirmed that individuals were traveling via commercial airlines and transporting marihuana and large quantities of cash in their checked baggage. RCMP allege the individuals were conspiring to move a significant volume of drugs from one location to another in Canada.

On Wednesday officers from the RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit searched six residences in the Halifax Regional Municipality and eight residences in the Lower Mainland area of B.C. Seven males were arrested in the Lower Mainland area; five males and one female were arrested in the greater Halifax area.

During the course of the investigation, officers seized $115,000 in cash, 35 pounds of marihuana and two pounds of hashish.

The searches in Nova Scotia Wednesday also led to the following seizures:
• Over $17,000 in cash – additional quantities seized still being counted
• Weapons – Taser and 16 firearms
• Various types of ammunition
• Over 70 pounds of marihuana
• Small quantity of hash oil
• Money counter machines
• Drug paraphernalia, including numerous sets of scales and vacuum sealers
• 2009 Toyota Camry
• 2011 GMC Yukon
• 2014 Acura IXL

The searches in B.C led to the following seizures:
• Over $100,000 in cash
• Weapons including a carbine assault weapon, loaded shotgun and handgun
• Over 100 pounds of marihuana
• 296 marihuana plants
• 30 pounds of shatter
• Small quantity of Oxycontin pills
• Over one kilogram of cocaine
• Brass knuckles
• Two swords (prohibited)
• Drug paraphernalia, including numerous sets of scales and vacuum sealers
• Money counter machines
• 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
• 2011 BMW 328i
• 2013 Chevrolet Cruze
• 2007 Pontiac Torrent
• 2004 Ford F150
• 2008 Dodge Viper
• 2011 GMC Yukon
• 2010 Honda Civic
• 2005 Chrysler 300C
• 2012 Mercedes
• 2010 Land Rover

As of today, police have seized a total of 14 vehicles, over $232,000 in cash and over 205 lbs of marihuana.

‘These individuals had an established network operating a sophisticated drug distribution chain that has ties to organized crime,’ says Insp. Mike Payne, Nova Scotia RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit. ‘Investigators have disrupted this network and as a result of today’s arrests, we have ended their activities.’

‘The mandate of federal serious and organized crime investigators at the Vancouver international airport remains to detect and dismantle organized criminal activity at or through the airport.’ says Insp. Mike Carlson, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Group. ‘This cooperative effort with the criminal intelligence section of B.C. and RCMP federal investigators in Nova Scotia is an excellent example of the success which can be generated through cooperative enforcement efforts and effective intelligence sharing.’

The following individuals were arrested Wednesday in Nova Scotia:

• Kirk Edward Withrow 51, Dartmouth
• Matthew Brian Oldford, 35, Dartmouth
• Troy Scott Adam Lee, 40, Brookside
• Melissa Ann Murphy, 35, Dartmouth
• Andrew David Gauthier, 38, Dartmouth

Withrow and Oldford are jointly facing charges of Conspiracy to Traffick Marihuana, Possession of Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering. They were held in custody and appeared in Halifax Provincial Court Thursday morning. They were released on conditions with a court date of January 20, 2016.

Lee is facing changes of Trafficking in Marihuana, Possession for Purpose of Trafficking x 2, Possession of Proceeds of Crime x 2 and Money Laundering. He appeared in Halifax Provincial Court Thursday morning and was released on conditions with a court date of January 20, 2016.

Murphy and Gauthier are facing charges of Trafficking in Marihuana, Possession of Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering. Following their arrest, they have been released on conditions and will appear in court on January 20, 2016.

In addition to the above noted arrests as part of Operation Hagrid, officers also arrested Jason Michael MacDonald, 40, of Halifax. MacDonald was observed in a drug transaction at one of the search sites. He is facing a charge of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. He will appear in court on January 20, 2016.

The following individuals were arrested in B.C. on Wednesday:
• Stephen John Lockett, 42, Pitt Meadows
• Jeffrey Michael Boyer, 34, Coquitlam
• Reece Peter Germaine, 28, North Vancouver
• Derek Nicklaus Pilling, 28, Maple Ridge
• Douglas Kurtiss Neumann, 33, Maple Ridge
• Darren Ernest Telford, 29, Maple Ridge
• Ryan Frederick Franklin, 28, Maple Ridge

Lockett and Boyer are jointly facing charges of Conspiracy to Traffick Marihuana, Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering. Germaine, Pilling, Neumann, Telford and Franklin are each facing charges of Trafficking in Marihuana, Possession of Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering.

Officers have escorted them to Nova Scotia and they will appear in Halifax Provincial Court this afternoon.

The investigation is ongoing.

Insp. Mike Payne of the Nova Scotia RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit will be available for media interviews at RCMP HQ in Dartmouth at 11 a.m. today.

Hagrid

Hagrid 2

Source: Release

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