Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jul 2002
Source: Bancroft Times, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Bancroft Times Ltd.
Author: Luke Hendry


Undercover operations by the Project Longarm police drug unit will continue 
in North Hastings, senior officers are saying in the wake of last week's 
undercover blitz.

The announcement comes in conjunction with the release of local statistics 
for the joint-forces unit, which covers from Kingston to Trenton and Prince 
Edward County to North Hastings.

"Initially we targeted producers of marijuana, and this year we refocused 
our attention on the people who are selling illegal drugs to our children, 
resulting in the arrests of numerous people last week," said Staff Sergeant 
Ray Westgarth, commander of the Bancroft OPP detachment. "We will continue 
to target these people."

In a series of seven arrests on June 11 and 12, Longarm and Bancroft OPP 
officers laid over 22 charges. Various forms of marijuana and cocaine with 
a total estimated street value of $31,000 were seized. Police said five 
search warrants, including one in the Belleville area, were executed.

More To Come

The busts were the result of roughly half a year of undercover work, 
Detective Sergeant Dan Reive, Longarm's case manager, told The Times.

Reive said the unit's undercover work, though relatively rare in Hastings 
and Prince Edward Counties, is going to increase.

"It's not, as a rule, our primary tool," said Reive. "With the advent of 
Longarm, it'll be a common thing."

He added "a lot of work and perseverance" was required to make last week's 
operation a success.

As with most Longarm seizures, marijuana accounted for most of the total 
seized drugs, Reive said.
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