Nelson Police have made 15 arrests as part of an undercover drug operation.

UPDATED: 15 arrested in Nelson drug sting

Nelson police have made 15 arrests following an undercover project that involved cocaine, ecstacy, morphine and other drugs.

The Nelson Police Department has arrested 15 alleged drug dealers following an undercover project intended to “determine the scope and extent” of drug use and trafficking in the community.

Police say during the operation, officers from the BC municipal undercover program bought or seized marijuana, cocaine, ketamine, GHB, ecstacy, morphine, and methamphetamines.

Three vehicles were also seized through the civil forfeiture process.

Since the operation ended, police have shared the information they gathered with other agencies for further investigation, chief Wayne Holland said. Other suspects have also been identified.

Some of those arrested have already pled guilty and are serving jail time. However, Holland declined to release their names or give specifics of their sentences for fear of prejudicing other cases still before the courts. Once all have concluded, police plan to issue a summary of the outcomes.

Holland wouldn’t confirm whether the suspects had previous convictions, but said all were local residents. While they didn’t necessarily work together, they would have been familiar with one another, he added.

“Often one trafficker, if asked for something they don’t have, would steer a person to another trafficker. They may work in isolation and not necessarily act as an organized group, but definitely know each other.”

He said the undercover operation followed up on suspicions that drug sales in Nelson are on the rise and the substances in question are more potent and dangerous, including synthetic or designer drugs.

“Police always gauge drug sales and transactions in a community. That’s normal,” he said. “The difference is that this time we saw far more designer drugs of a greater variety. You just don’t know what these are comprised of. We’re coming across people in medical distress because of them. It’s not a pretty sight.”

Holland asked citizens, especially parents and teachers, to be on the lookout for the drugs in question and warn their children and students about them.

While they were not surprised that their suspicions about the level of drug trafficking in the community were borne out, Holland said they never expected to arrest so many accused traffickers.

Working with federal crown counsel, he said police tried to make as many purchases as they could in the greatest amounts before deciding who to arrest. “It took a few days to round them up, but we got everybody,” he said. “None knew they had sold to police officers.”

He wouldn’t say when the operation began to avoid identifying the undercover officers and informants who worked with them.

Asked whether the arrests would make a dent in the local drug trade, Holland replied: “Word is it’s more difficult to buy some drugs in Nelson right now. We hope that’s so but want to send a message to [dealers] that we’re onto them and not going to let up.” Whether other dealers will take the place of those recently arrested remains to be seen, he said, and is something they will monitor.

Holland said there is no indication that Nelson is a manufacturing centre for the designer drugs, but he believes most of the dealers’ customers live here.

“If there’s that many engaged in the trade, there must be buyers out there. That’s what concerns us,” he said, noting that longtime officers say they are seeing different types of drugs in far greater volumes than before.

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Coffee card donations return at Wait’s News

The program supplied over 200 cards last year

Trafalgar students build home for sanctuary horse

Grade 8 students collaborated on a project with a local farm sanctuary

Nelson won’t restrict parking amnesty to West Kootenay

So far, more than 800 people have responded with amnesty payments

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read