Police have arrested 10 people, and laid 69 drug and weapons charges, after raiding a number of homes and marijuana storefronts throughout Nova Scotia on Thursday.
The RCMP, with the assistance of Halifax Regional Police, executed search warrants at four homes on Gammon Crescent in Cole Harbour, Memorial Drive in Westphal, Frederick Avenue in Halifax, and John Gorham Lane in Bedford.
They also searched five marijuana storefronts on Cole Harbour Road in Cole Harbour, Cobequid Road in Lower Sackville, Agricola Street in Halifax, Old Highway 104 in Antigonish, and Gerrish Street in Windsor.
Officers seized a loaded handgun, a shotgun, significant quantities of marijuana, chemically-extracted cannabis resin, cannabis oil, cannabis edibles, cocaine, large amounts of cash, as well as drug paraphernalia, three ATMs and storefront signage during the searches.
Police allege the people arrested in the raids were using the storefronts to commit crimes such as trafficking cocaine and marijuana, selling drugs knowing they were going to be resold for criminal profit, selling marijuana in quantities well over the amounts prescribed, and generating revenue to purchase proceeds of crime.
Police allege the individuals were also selling marijuana without knowing where it came from or what it may contain, “meaning there are no measures to prevent the drugs from potentially being laced with dangerous chemicals that could cause serious injury or death to users.”
The arrests come following an eight-month investigation led by the RCMP Halifax District Street Crime Enforcement Unit, with involvement from units in Antigonish and Windsor.
“These individuals have set up shop in our community operating as a criminal network,” said Insp. Jason Popik, operations officer for Halifax District RCMP, in a statement.
“They are misleading the public by pretending to be professional establishments using the guise of the storefronts to commit crime and profit from the proceeds of their crime.”
The following people have been charged:
- Jarrett Randall Shrum, 31, of Bedford faces 17 charges
- Malachy Nathaniel McMeekin, 35, of Cole Harbour face 10 charges
- Norman Arthur Lawrence, 46, of Westphal faces seven charges
- Josh Robert Byers, 42, of Halifax faces seven charges
- Connor Brian Haryett, 26, of Dartmouth faces eight charges
- Brandon Richard Lively, 29, of Beaver Bank faces seven charges
- Justin Wade Wile, 31, of Windsor faces five charges
- Bryan Jacob Canavan, 25, of MacKay Settlement faces five charges
- Gillian Sarah Sampson, 28, of Antigonish faces three charges
Shrum was remanded and is due to appear Friday in Dartmouth provincial court.
McMeekin, Lawrence, Byers, Haryett and Lively were released and are due to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Oct. 25.
Wile and Canavan were released and are due to appear in Windsor provincial court on Oct. 17.
Sampson was released and is scheduled to appear in Antigonish provincial court on Oct. 25.
Police say charges are also expected against a 33-year-old Dartmouth man who was arrested Friday.
The investigation is ongoing.