One of B.C.’s biggest drug busts botched by ‘disgraced’ Victoria Police officer’s involvement


After seizing more than $30 million worth of drugs, cash and weapons three years ago, a Victoria Police (VicPD) case is in tatters all because of alleged police misconduct.

Charges against three men they called members of an “organized fentanyl trafficking ring,” one of them a paroled murderer, have all been quietly stayed after finding out a VicPD officer involved in the investigation was himself, under a criminal investigation.

On Dec. 16, 2020, VicPD celebrated taking down a fentanyl drug ring. The investigation, known as “Project Juliet,” resulted in three arrests and the seizure of $30 million worth of fentanyl.

Now, the case has imploded.

A judge says the police detachment botched its own investigation, which was by trying to hide the fact that “disgraced” former VicPD officer Rob Ferris was involved in the initial investigation.

It’s something VicPD’s top brass admits to.

“There were mistakes that were made,” Chief Del Manak told reporters Wednesday.

“Our officers tried to minimize Ferris’ involvement while maintaining the integrity of this investigation.”

The ruling says VicPD changed the date the investigation began, misleading Crown, defence, and Justices by claiming it began nearly two months later than it actually had.

“I can tell you there was no point in time we tried to mislead the court,” denied Manak.

Manak says his officers acted in good faith, trying to reset the clock on the big drug file while ensuring there was no influence of Ferris.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome of the file,” said Manak. “I apologize for our contribution to this outcome.”

According to Justice Catherine Murray’s ruling, VicPD became aware in 2019 of allegations of corrupt practice against Ferris.

The RCMP’s Anti-Corruption Unit was then brought in to investigate.

It says on June 18, 2020, Ferris was arrested for obstruction of justice and breach of trust.

Murray’s ruling says Ferris “was believed to be involved in 19 instances of misconduct, including associating with suspects of police investigations in southern Vancouver Island, divulging details of police investigations to family members, improperly accessing police databases, lying to investigators and divulging sensitive information to civilians.”

Ferris has not been charged criminally and resigned before his dismissal was enacted.

All three individuals initially charged in the 2020 raid, one of them a paroled murderer, have had their charges quietly stayed.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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