The Command Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. held a media availability today (Sept. 21) in Kelowna to share the work being done to fight gangs and gang violence in the Okanagan.
“The violence associated with criminal and gang activity too often occurs in busy public places that all of us, including our loved ones, frequent putting us all in danger,” said Supt. Alison Laurin.
CFSEU-BC spent July leading an initiative with Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon-North Okanagan and Penticton RCMP, as well as B.C. Highway Patrol to reduce opportunities for gang violence in high-risk places.
“Sixty-four files resulted in the seizure of either weapons or illegal drugs in trafficking level quantities,” said Laurin.
Through the initiative, 1.84 kilograms of illicit drugs were seized, including an estimated 29,000 lethal doses of fentanyl, with a street value of approximately $670,000.
A number of firearms were also seized, some airsoft that can be modified for use as a real firearm.
A total of 47 other weapons were taken in, including knives, bear spray, brass knuckles and tasers.
“Currently 17 files involve criminal investigation and charges, and we are anticipating more charges as several files are still under investigation.”
Laurin also noted the team seized $12,570 in cash, saying it is important “as it is capitol that can be used to fuel future gang activities.”
She closed her statements by addressing those involved in gang activity.
“If you continue your activity you should expect to be stopped by our [Uniform Gang Enforcement Team], RCMP, or municipal officers from other agencies. We will do everything in our legal and lawful means to keep our community safe from you.”
Find the full report from CFSEU-BC online.
During the media availability RCMP also confirmed a July homicide victim in the area was connected to gang activity in the Lower Mainland.