Nova Scotia RCMP have made 24 arrests and laid over 130 charges following a 13-month drug investigation across Cape Breton and Antigonish County.

Police concluded Operation HAKON, which they say targeted several criminal groups involved in trafficking large amounts of drugs throughout Eastern Canada, Wednesday.

“Reducing crime is one of our provincial policing priorities and whenever we can disrupt harmful drug trafficking and drug abuse we are having a direct impact on spinoff criminal activity that is occurring in our communities,” says Supt. Darrell Beaton, the RCMP’s district policing officer for Northeast Nova Scotia.

Police seized a quantity of drugs, weapons, vehicles and roughly $55,000 in cash after conducting a number of residential and vehicle searches in Cheticamp, Inverness, St. George, Southside Boularderie, Heatherton and Aspen.

"Many of the rural communities where these arrests occurred would be the last place most of you would think we would find those engaged in drug trafficking," says Beaton. "Unfortunately, as police we know the drug culture has no boundaries."

The vehicles seized are considered proceeds of crime. They will be sold by the Crown, while the drugs and weapons will eventually be destroyed.

Drugs seized:

  • 25 kilograms of marijuana
  • 1.5 kilograms of cocaine
  • 1 kilogram of hash oil
  • 1 kilogram of hash
  • Over 100 marijuana plants

Weapons seized:

  • AK47 assault rifle
  • 22-calibre handgun
  • Five 22-calibre rifles
  • Five 12-gauge shotguns
  • 20-gauge shotgun
  • Three 410-gauge shotguns
  • 30-30-calibre rifle
  • Bow and arrows
  • Bear spray
  • Ammunition
  • Bulletproof vest

Vehicles seized:

  • 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2005 Black BMW M3
  • 2012 Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab
  • 2010 Dodge Ram Truck, 2500 series
  • 2008 Pontiac G-6
  • 2007 Buick Allure
  • 2012 Rotax, 800R series Skidoo

The operation included RCMP members from the Sydney Federal Operations Support Unit, the Combined Forces Intelligence Unit, Inverness and Victoria County detachments, as well as Inverness and Antigonish Street Crime Enforcement Units and Truro and Halifax Federal Drug Sections.

Insp. John Ryan says the charges and seizures indicate a clear link between the drug trade and violent crime.

“These individuals were beyond your street-level drug dealers, they were part of criminal groups that trafficked large quantities of drugs in and out of our community,” says Ryan, a federal support officer with the RCMP.

“They had access to guns, bulletproof vests, drugs and cash and they used whatever means necessary to get their job done.”

The 24 people accused in the case are facing over 130 charges which include: trafficking in cocaine, marijuana, hashish, magic mushrooms and ecstasy, as well as possession of prohibited weapons, resisting arrest and conspiracy to commit assault causing bodily harm, among several other charges.

  • Shandy Aucoin, 27, Cheticamp
  • Wendolynne Avery, 39, Southside Boularderie
  • Eugene Basker, 62, Inverness
  • Jason Blinkhorn, 35, Southside Boularderie
  • William Brady, 62, Cape George
  • Collette Brady, 35, Cape George
  • Melissa Brown, 30, Cheticamp
  • Travis Camus, 29, Petit Etang
  • Helen Camus, 50, Petit Etang
  • Mackenzie Camus, 24, Petit Etang
  • Abraham (Wayne) Camus, 54, Petit Etang
  • Gabriel Chiasson, 36, Petit Etang
  • Jason Chiasson, 33, Petit Etang
  • Kevin Chisholm, 36, New Glasgow
  • Donald Delaney, 52, Drummondville, Quebec
  • Scott Donaldson, 51, Barrington Passage
  • Justin Goswell, 23, Whycocomagh
  • Kevin Goswell, 53, Whycocomagh
  • James MacDonald, 33, Black Avon
  • Whitney MacDonald, 20, Port Hood
  • Adam Morrison, 42, Dingwall
  • Wynne (Dawson) Richards, 28, Havre Boucher
  • Brian Roach, 38, Cheticamp
  • Marco Wood, 38-years-old, Antigonish

Police say some of the accused have already appeared in court to answer to the charges. The rest will appear in court at a later date