6 arrested, suspected fentanyl, crack cocaine seized in drug-related investigation: Port Hardy RCMP

6 arrested, suspected fentanyl, crack cocaine seized in drug-related investigation: Port Hardy RCMP
File photo.

A half-dozen people have been arrested following a drug-related investigation in Port Hardy, where officers seized suspected fentanyl, crack cocaine and cocaine, according to RCMP.

On Saturday, March 9, police arrested six people and conducted two search warrants in the North Island city, which yielded “suspected fentanyl, suspected crack cocaine, suspected cocaine, a handgun and a shotgun,” reads a news release from RCMP.

Investigators from Port Hardy RCMP, with help from Port Alice RCMP and Island District RCMP’s general and forensic investigation sections, launched the investigation at the beginning of March amid a spike in overdose deaths in the area.

Chief Superintendent Shawna Baher with Island District RCMP says Mounties are continuing to support the community of Port Hardy and surrounding Indigenous communities, where two First Nations recently issued a state of emergency following the deaths of 11 people.

“We are liaising with our law enforcement partners to determine the role that these individuals play in the drug trade, and we are taking every step to ensure public safety and rightful prosecution,” said Baher in the release Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, March 5, Island Health issued a drug poisoning overdose advisory for the North Island, saying overdoses were on the rise. Advisories expire after seven days.

Earlier this month, the Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw First Nations said some of those who died were youth, and many of the deaths involved drugs or alcohol. A First Nations councillor told CHEK News there was a lot of distress and despair amongst young people there.

RCMP say a detailed report to Crown counsel will be forwarded for consideration of charges to those arrested in relation to the investigation.

“The RCMP will continue to have a heightened police presence in the future with the assistance of BC Highway Patrol and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC),” police added in the release.

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