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Eight people charged with drug trafficking offences in Vancouver Island city

Investigation aligns with broader initiative to address the increase in unregulated drug deaths
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A lengthy investigation has now resulted in eight people being charged with drug trafficking offences in Courtenay. File photo

A lengthy investigation has now resulted in eight people being charged with drug trafficking offences in Courtenay.

Courtenay, like many communities in British Columbia, has been feeling the impact of the fentanyl epidemic. In February, Comox Valley RCMP started to receive an increased number of reports from concerned citizens and neighboring businesses regarding the drug activity on the 600-block of Cliffe Ave., in Courtenay.

These reports prompted action from the Comox Valley RCMP, specifically, investigators from the Bike Unit and the Street Crimes Unit. The two units collaborated on a project to specifically target drug traffickers operating in the downtown area of Courtenay.

The following individuals are currently facing charges:

- Aislynn Hessler, a 24-year-old female from Courtenay: One count of trafficking fentanyl and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine).

- Frank Poel, a 66-year-old male from Courtenay: Two counts of trafficking fentanyl and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine).

- David Nakashima, a 28-year-old male from Courtenay: One count of trafficking fentanyl and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine) One count of trafficking cocaine.

- Sterling Girard, a 28-year-old male from Courtenay: Two counts of trafficking fentanyl and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine); One count of trafficking methamphetamine.

- Andrew Labree, a 36-year-old male from Courtenay: One count of trafficking methamphetamine.

- Adam Wilkins, a 37-year-old male from Courtenay: One count of trafficking fentanyl and para-Flourofentanyl

- Timothy Hyatt, a 22-year-old male from Courtenay: Two counts of trafficking methamphetamine, one count of trafficking fentanyl, para-Flourofentanyl, and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine).

- Denyss Teagai, a 31-year-old male from Courtenay: One count of trafficking fentanyl and bromazolam (a benzodiazepine).

“The proactive efforts of the Comox Valley RCMP and community are crucial to combatting the fentanyl epidemic that has plagued our community. These arrests signify our commitment to public safety and our stance against those who choose to exploit vulnerable populations,” said Const. Monika Terragni, media relations officer, with the Comox Valley RCMP.

The investigation aligns with the broader initiative to address the staggering increase in unregulated drug deaths reported by the BC Coroners Service, with fentanyl detected in 83 per cent of cases during the first nine months of 2023.

The Comox Valley RCMP encourages residents to report all suspicious activity to the detachment by calling (250) 338-1321, or if it is an emergency, dial 911.





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