Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jul 2007
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2007 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Tera Camus, Cape Breton Bureau
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our
editors may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who
have not been convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise
public figures or officials.


RCMP Respond To Aboriginal Requests To Crack Down On Dealers

SYDNEY -- Another 10 aboriginals from Cape Breton were busted Thursday
for selling as little as a $10 gram of marijuana to undercover police
over the past three months.

The RCMP have charged 18 people in connection with street-level drug
dealing since Wednesday, all of them arrested in their homes and
placed on strict conditions before being released pending trial.

However, the Mounties refused to display the recovered drugs or say
how much was involved when they called reporters to a news conference
in Eskasoni.

There were no follow-up raids at any of the alleged traffickers' homes
in Wagmatcook, Waycobah, Chapel Island, Eskasoni or Membertou, and
none of the undercover purchases secured any cocaine or crack cocaine,
one of the harder drugs affecting not only reserves, but many other
Cape Breton communities.

RCMP spokesman Const. Grant Webber told reporters the arrests resulted
from requests by First Nations leaders in Cape Breton to crack down on

"The importance of it . . . it's community based, and it (follows)
requests from the first Nations communities in Cape Breton that asked
RCMP to do something about their drug problems," he said, noting
police acted on tips from residents.

"It's a serious problem in every community, I suppose. It's just
something that they wanted . . . to protect their youth and get these
people off the streets."

The Membertou reserve recently decided not to renew its $1-million
RCMP contract signed in 2002 and instead has hired Cape Breton
Regional Police to take over this fall. Chief Terry Paul publicly
complained about the lack of drug and other enforcement on the reserve
of 1,000.

In Sydney provincial court Thursday, nine of those arrested Thursday
were arraigned. A 10th suspect, Kory Knickle of Wagmatcook, remains at
large and faces one count of trafficking marijuana.

Judge David Ryan imposed the same strict conditions on everyone,
including an 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily curfew that requires them to
answer the door within three minutes if police come knocking. They
must report three times a week to police and abstain from booze or
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MAP posted-by: Derek