Six Vancouver Island residents are facing charges approved by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada relating to drug trafficking and criminal organizations.
On Thursday, around two-dozen charges were approved against the residents. Court documents show Jeff Pasanen, Shawna Leblanc, Peter Billlie and Johnathan Clifford of the Comox Valley, Randal King of Campbell River and Rhys Bolton of Victoria are facing charges.
They include 10 counts of unlawfully trafficking a controlled substance (cocaine) contrary to Section 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, unlawful possession a controlled substance (cocaine), and conspiring to commit drug trafficking contrary to Section 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and Section 465(1) of the criminal code.
The arrests were made in 2022, and charges stem from an investigation into drug trafficking operations on Vancouver Island by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia 2021.
In the initial press release issued at that time, they said multiple search warrants were conducted and around 3.5 kilograms of suspected cocaine, $160,000 in Canadian cash, several firearms, a vehicle and Hells Angels paraphernalia were seized from residences in the Comox Valley and Campbell River.
“We know small communities and areas outside the Lower Mainland are not immune to the negative effects of gangs and organized crime. These groups prey upon the most vulnerable through the sale of often deadly drugs and using fear and intimidation in order to advance their illicit enterprises,” said CFSEU-BC superintendent Duncan Pound.
“Working with our partners on Vancouver Island in a collaborative and coordinated effort is critical to ensuring that those who seek to put us and our communities at risk are held accountable.”