Pubdate: Fri, 07 Apr 2006
Source: Barrie Advance, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Glenn Wilkins


The fight against dangerous drugs in Barrie got a boost this week, 
with a sizable seizure of crack cocaine and ecstasy pills, and the 
arrest of four people.

Still, police caution, the problem is an ongoing one, fully 
justifying an aggressive, proactive approach to solving.

Barrie Police announced last October that more resources would be 
devoted to the multiple problems of drugs, gangs, weapons and 
violence, according to the force's media relations officer.

"It's something that sometimes the public doesn't get to see," 
according to Sgt. Dave Goodbrand, "but something we remain committed 
to; serving notice to these criminals that we're going to go after them.

"We're sending a message to the public that we're serious about the 
problem of drugs and gangs in Barrie."

Chief Wayne Frechette, without sounding fatalistic that the drug 
problem is beyond solving, admits one bust does not constitute a cleanup.

"I mean, a (half-pound) of cocaine is a significant amount, but for 
me to tell you it will have a lasting impact on the drug issue in 
Barrie would be gilding the lily. You probably wouldn't notice, aside 
from a day or two, if these people were your suppliers, but there's 
plenty of other suppliers around.

"Not to take away from good police work and a good pinch, but there 
are lots more (dealers) out there just like these guys, so it's an 
ongoing thing. "

Goodbrand has told The Advance the problems of drugs, gang violence, 
guns and prostitution are often interlocked, adding Barrie could 
potentially be a fertile ground for the problem to spread, given an 
increasing population, folks with more disposable income, and the 
city's proximity to major centres like Toronto.

The city's latest murder, the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old boy 
near Lackie's Bush in March, prompted a public cleanup of the area. 
Small plastic bags, allegedly having contained drugs, turned up in 
the hundreds, and graffiti, suggesting a greater gang presence in the 
city, turned up as well.

It's a problem on which officers conceded they have to concentrate 
all the harder.

Wednesday night, weeks of aggressive achieved a noticeable victory 
when Barrie Police Street Crime officers teamed up with their 
uniformed colleagues and those on the drug unit, to reel in about 
$65,000 worth of cocaine, crack cocaine and ecstasy during a routine 
traffic stop.

One car was pulled over around Ardagh Road, another about an hour 
later on Bradford Street, containing in total about a half-pound of 
cocaine, including crack, along with a slew of ecstasy tablets.

Two men from Angus were hauled in during the first arrest, while a 
local man was caught during the second. Some cash and some brass 
knuckles were also seized from his Quail Crescent home, where a woman 
was also arrested.

The local couple, both in their 20s, will be in court at the end of 
May, along with the two Angus men, ages 21 and 19. The four face a 
variety of charges, mostly possession, trafficking and breach of probation.
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