Keen eyesight led to more drug arrests by Salmon Arm RCMP this week.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, officers spotted a known drug dealer driving through the downtown core.
Police followed the vehicle and report seeing a hand-off drug deal taking place on Hudson Avenue.
Officers then took chase on foot, arrested those involved and seized a large quantity of currency and a baggie of meth-amphetamine.
The driver of the vehicle is being charged with drug trafficking and the passenger with an outstanding warrant for arrest was held in custody,
Some 31 hours later, at 9:12 p.m. Thursday, May 24, police arrested another individual they had become aware of as a newcomer and dealer in crack cocaine.
An officer spotted the man dealing from his vehicle, which was parked near Wendy’s Restaurant. When approached, the man fled on foot but was chased and apprehended.
RCMP seized crack cocaine, currency and cell phones.
“The cells continued to receive several texts from potential buyers of cocaine,”says Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane. “Police met with these people in different locations in Salmon Arm and warned them about purchasing drugs.”
And while there have always been plenty of dealers willing to take over when one is taken off the streets, the word seems to be getting out.
“We have heard from users it’s harder to get drugs in this town and there’s less appetite for people (dealers) to move into town.”
Not everyone is deterred, however.
The driver involved in the May 23 incident informed police he intends to continue to sell drugs in the city.
“The problem we have is that when somebody’s caught in possession, they still have a court process to go through and it takes so much time, they’re right back out dealing to feed their habit,” he says, noting the dealers know the legal system well and how far they can push. “It’s very difficult to put people in jail for a crime that hasn’t been proven, even though they’re caught red-handed. We’re the investigators, not the finders of fact.”
Keane says he’s happy to report that jail time did turn a couple of local lives around. When asked if he was “working” recently, the former dealer told police he had been in jail where he received counselling and both he and his girlfriend had cleaned up.
“As much as we don’t like the behaviour, we don’t necessary dislike them,” he says. “It’s nice when you find out what you did was something that improves the lives of others.”
Anyone with information about these files or any other information that may help police, are asked to contact the Salmon Arm detachment or Crime Stoppers.