Seventeen people face 18 charges following an undercover drug trafficking investigation in Centennial Square. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Undercover Victoria drug trafficking investigation leaves 17 people facing 18 charges

Five people arrested, 12 still wanted on warrants after sting in Centennial Square tents

Seventeen people are facing charges after an undercover drug trafficking investigation led by the Victoria Police Department.

On Wednesday (Aug. 26), the department announced the outcome of an undercover operation in Centennial Square, initiated in response to an increase in violent crimes including air gun shootings, assaults and stabbings – incidents linked to the drug trade, according to VicPD.

From Aug. 11 to 15, police posed undercover as customers and purchased drugs, including meth, cocaine, psilocybin and fentanyl, from several tents in Centennial Square. Police said tents were used for drug trafficking on a rotating basis – with a given tent used for drug transactions one day and sleeping the next.

READ ALSO: VicPD investigating ‘anti-Canadian’ graffiti at Fairfield home

Police also noticed one suspect would leave their residence, drive to Centennial Square and park a block away before heading to a tent in the square to conduct drug trafficking.

The undercover officers said they experienced threats of violence while working in the square.

Warrants for drug trafficking charges were issued to 17 accused people in the investigation. So far five have been arrested and 12 are wanted on warrants. An additional person is wanted for a robbery charge related to the investigation.

The five people arrested and charged with trafficking a controlled substance include Jamaal Ali Johnson, 41; Desaree Gloria-Lee Solley, 35; Tomas Paul Podhora, 28; Christopher John Ferland, 31; and Julian Michael Peterson, 23.

READ ALSO: VicPD arrests three people, shuts down bicycle ‘chop-shop’ after using ‘bait’ bike


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

crimeDrugsVicPDVictoria

Just Posted

WATCH: Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock pedals into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Volunteer LeMoine doesn’t get locks shaved but still finds a way to raise funds

Side Bay access confirmed as North Island forest service roads get a minor facelift

Remote beach route no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to COVID-19 recovery funding

Vancouver Island parents say schools not appropriate voting stations

Elections B.C. says site of polling stations not yet determined, working with Dr. Henry’s office

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Duncan man at large after massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Neighbours concerned about proposed apartment complex on Island Highway

City says it’s early in the process, still, and residents will ‘absolutely’ have their concerns heard

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Lockdown quickly lifted at Nanaimo District Secondary School

NDSS was under lockdown mid-morning Friday, Sept. 25

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Most Read