Powell River RCMP arrested two alleged drug traffickers earlier this week and dismantled what investigators believe was the beginning of a dial-a-dope operation.
According to a media release from the local detachment, a 25-year-old Surrey man and 51-year-old Powell River woman were arrested in Cranberry on Tuesday, March 14, for trafficking heroin. They were released on bail and ordered to appear in federal court at a later date.
One condition of the man’s release is that he leaves the Powell River area; he is only permitted to return for court appearances.
Powell River RCMP constable Kerri Chard said public tips played a role in allowing police to make the arrests. Acting on those anonymous tips, police investigated and obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 6700 block of Cranberry Street.
“The information was very detailed and specific, so the officers were able to act and gather their own information on top of that,” said Chard.
She added that police appreciate the public’s help in the case and continue to rely on it.
“Police can’t be everywhere all the time, so if the public is on the lookout for anything suspicious and they can pass that on, we can check it out,” she said.
Police believe the man was in the process of establishing a “dial-a-dope” operation, said Chard.
Dial-a-dope operations are where drug users are able to order drugs over the telephone to prepaid cellphones and either arrange for delivery or a meeting.
According to media reports from the Lower Mainland, it is a standard business model for gangs and organized crime to distribute drugs. Operations can become quite sophisticated with multiple layers of phone numbers in order to avoid police or rival gang detection.
In a recent presentation to Powell River Regional District, Powell River detachment commander staff sergeant Rod Wiebe told the board directors that since the beginning of the new year his department has made several drug trafficking arrests, all related to the local distribution of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
Wiebe told the board it is only a matter of time before trafficking methods and drug supply makes their way to Powell River.