Port Hardy RCMP surrounded a house on Byng Road on June 17 around 6:00 p.m. (Submitted photo)

Port Hardy RCMP announce charges in three separate drug busts

‘There are people in our community that are preying on the vulnerable’

The Port Hardy RCMP successfully completed multiple drug investigations that have resulted in charges being made.

“Drugs and organized crime is one of the top policing priorities across the country and remains a top priority for the Port Hardy RCMP,” says acting detachment commander Cpl. Chris Voller. “There are people in our community that are preying on the vulnerable. While addiction is a medical issue, predators like these push those circumstances into the realm of criminality and we need to take enforcement action against them.”

Back on Feb. 17, RCMP members noticed a vehicle parked on Highway 19 Southbound just after midnight. The time of day and location of the vehicle seemed odd and a curious member decided to check on the driver to ensure everything was okay. While speaking with the male driver (whose reason for him and his female passenger to be inside the vehicle did not make sense), the investigating member observed drug paraphernalia in plain view and both individuals were arrested.

During a search of the vehicle, further drugs, drug paraphernalia, over $12,000 in cash, and an unsecured firearm were all located and seized. Jeffrey Brent Sr. of Port Hardy and Bonnie Kristiansen of Port Alice have since been charged with multiple offences including; unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, Careless Use of Firearm, and Possess Weapon for Dangerous Purpose. Further charges against them are being assessed at this time relating to the other components.

Back in April, the Port Hardy RCMP received information of suspected drug activity at a unit at 9200 Granville Street and a suspect was identified. On May 12, a Port Hardy RCMP member conducted a traffic stop and located the female identified as a suspect in drug trafficking the previous month. Again, members located evidence of drug paraphernalia in plain view in the vehicle while speaking to the suspect. Upon her arrest, drugs and bags of currency were seized from the woman’s bag. A search warrant executed later the same day at the woman’s residence yielded further drugs, evidence of drug trafficking, and more than $20,000 of cash. Leanne Kiiskila of Port Hardy has been charged with two counts of drug trafficking.

Back on June 17, the Port Hardy RCMP executed search warrant at a dwelling house and the associated property on Byng Road. RCMP members seized cash, various drugs and evidence of drug trafficking. Earl Casemore, David Louis, and Betty Nadelko have all since been charged with drug trafficking and Possessing a Controlled Substance.

“These complex investigations show the hard work and dedication the port hardy RCMP has to removing not only these illegal drugs from our community, but ensuring that those selling drugs face consequences,” Voller stated. “Our team is not done yet, and we’ll continue to work hard at getting drugs and those who would seek to sell them. Crimes of this nature are driven by greed and are led by a level of selfishness. Capitalizing on the exploitation of our large vulnerable sector, lending to property crime and unsafe roadways. The five community leaderships I answer to have made it exceeding clear that these actions have no place within our communities.”

So far year to-date the Port Hardy RCMP have charged six people in various drug related offences and have seized over $60,000 in cash.

The Port Hardy RCMP would like to thank the citizens who also reported suspicious drug activity and are requesting concerned individuals continue to do so by calling the Port Hardy RCMP at 250-949-6335.

If they wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit their web site at www.crimestoppers.ca.

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