Pubdate: Mon, 01 Nov 2004
Source: Labradorian, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2004 The Labradorian
Author: Jamie Baker
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


Police Raids Result In Seizures, Arrests

Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP Hope This Is Just The Beginning.

Last week, police conducted a pair of raids in the town, resulting in the 
seizure of cash and numerous drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana 
and psilocybin (mushrooms). Four men have been arrested and face numerous 
charges, drug-related and otherwise, in connection with the raids.

The search warrants carried out at the two residences are the beginning of 
what police hope will be a concentrated crackdown on a hardcore drug that 
appears to be growing in user popularity.

"We've gathered intelligence in the Goose Bay area over the past 18 or so 
months, and we know cocaine is readily available," said RCMP Corporal Steve 
Halliday. "I wouldn't say we've made a dent yet, but we're optimistic we'll 
be able to go forward and make more seizures. The community simply can't 
handle this kind of drug."

In carrying out the second search warrant, police seized $2,000 in cash and 
a quantity of drugs estimated to have a street value of about $5,000.

"Based on our investigation, we were not surprised at all with the amount 
of drugs we found -- in fact, we would've liked to have seized more. But we 
will keep going and continue working."

Cpl. Halliday says cracking down on the problem will not be easy, 
especially given how traffickers are always looking for new and improved 
ways of keeping drug supplies well-stocked.

"There are many different ways of getting these drugs into the community, 
and the dealers are being very entrepreneurial in how they're doing that -- 
they're using all the means available."

And, he says, the problem is not limited to the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area 

"There is a cannabis and hashish problem on the south coast, and we know 
cocaine is getting to some northern communities. What amount, we can't say, 
but we know it does exist."

Other problems Although police continue to focus on all illegal drugs, Cpl. 
Halliday says the increased availability of cocaine is getting to be a more 
serious cause for concern.

Besides the damaging physical and social effects of cocaine, Cpl. Halliday 
says it's likely the drug is related to other problems in the community.

"We know the effect of the drug often plays a role in other crimes like 
break and enter and armed robbery. People are stealing and selling stolen 
property to pay for their expensive cocaine habit.

"We have a lot of young people under the influence of something -- drugs 
and/or alcohol -- committing these types of crimes."

And users themselves, he says, should be worried about taking the drugs, 
especially since, "We don't know what dealers are cutting it with to 
maximize their profits."
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