Victoria police seized loaded handguns, modified handguns, modified firearms, body armour, ammunition and drugs during investigations done over five months.
Police said two men from Victoria are in custody, facing drug, weapons and breach of conditions charges after three Strike Force (SF) operations focusing on drug dealers and guns. The investigations were done over five months and included three files.
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Two Victoria men are in custody facing drug, weapons and breach of conditions charges after three Strike Force operations targeting drug dealers and guns. The investigations were conducted over five months and included three files. They led to the seizure of loaded #handguns, modified firearms, body armour, ammunition, and drugs, including #fentanyl. More at https://vicpd.ca/2020/01/16/loaded-guns-drugs-and-ammunition-seized-in-strike-force-operations/ #yyj #strikeforce
“I am incredibly proud of the excellent work our Strike Force, our Community Services Division, and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team are doing to get deadly drugs like fentanyl and guns out of the hands of criminals,” Chief Del Manak said.
“The firearms seized through these efforts, including loaded handguns and an assault-style rifle modified to include a silencer, shows the risk that these individuals pose to our community and the vital need for these types of operations.”
According to police, Strike Force officers began an investigation into one of the men in October 2019 after receiving information from the public. Investigators determined the suspect was allegedly in possession in a firearm. On Nov. 20, 2019, Strike Force officers, with the assistance of the Community Services Division and the (CSD) and Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) carried out a search warrant at a unit in a building in the 1000-block of Tillicum Road. Two vehicles being driven by the suspect were included in the search.
While searching the residence, officers found drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl. A loaded 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun in a false compartment in one of the vehicles.
Police said following this search, they are recommending six charges including possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property, breach of court-ordered conditions, and possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon. The vehicles are being submitted for consideration for civil forfeiture. The file is still under investigation and charges have not been sworn.
On Jan. 9, 2020 police arrested another suspect in the 700-block of Topaz Avenue. Police said while searching the man, they found several ounces of fentanyl, cash and a loaded handgun.
GVERT and SF then went to an apartment building in the 2600-block of Cook Street related to the man arrested. A woman who was in the suite police were searching was also arrested. Officers found more weapons, ammunition, and additional firearms, including a modified assault-style rifle equipped with a home-made silencer. Several more ounces of fentanyl and other drugs were also discovered.
Following an additional search warrant in the 700-block of Topaz Avenue, more ammunition and another loaded handgun.
Police said in the Jan. 9, 2020 investigation, a total of four firearms including an air-powered pistol, two loaded handguns and the modified, assault-style rifle with a home-made silencer were found.
Jordan Cody Moreland faces charges for drug possession for the purpose of trafficking as well as several weapons offences. He is still in custody.
The next day, Jan. 10, 2020, SF, CSD and GVERT officers carried out a search warrant in an apartment building in the 1000-block of Tillicum Road to determine if a firearm was in the suspect’s residence. The road was closed to traffic out of an abundance of caution.
Officers found a loaded .40 calibre handgun and body armour in the residence.
Andrew Brian Ritch, a 36-year-old Victoria man, faces recommended charges including possession of a restricted weapon, firearms possession, possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition, possession of body armour and possession in contrary to a court order.