Jul 27, 2012 / 5:00 am
Kelowna RCMP, working with video evidence from Castanet News, raided a drug house near Pandosy Wednesday night.
The raid came hours after Castanet aired a video showing videographer Kelly Hayes purchasing marijuana from the residents.
RCMP Cst. Kris Clark says RCMP receive countless complaints of drug trafficking every year and the drug section is constantly prioritizing and investigating those complaints.
"Did it force our hand and make us do a faster investigation? I really can't say. I don't know if his story and his evidence is what breached the threshold, but what I can says is he (Hayes) has been cooperating with investigators and has turned over the drugs," says Clark.
"I just know the investigation was already open and that house was already subject to complaints of possible drug trafficking."
Castanet News Director, Trevor Rockliffe says there was risk associated with the 'buy', but we have done this kind of thing before and we were ready.
"We had Kelly monitored the whole time, he was wired and we were listening in case things went bad. We've done this kind of operation in the past and there are risks. If there were more people in the house or the fear of guns we would not have done it."
Rockliffe says they informed the city about the problem, but they said it was an RCMP matter.
"Kelly told the RCMP and we waited a couple of weeks for something to happen, when nothing was being done we shot the video."
The news director says he prefers his team to report the news and not be the news, but sometimes you have to do what you can to help people.
"Our concern is for the neighbour who brought the complaint to us. She is at risk, and she knows it. She was put at risk by the city when they tried to send a letter to her stating they were looking into the drug situation at the property. The letter never reached her, it was addressed to the dealers upstairs. Something had to be done."
Several hours after the story aired on Castanet the RCMP raided the property.
Clark says about 340 grams of marijuana and cash were seized from the home.
Three people in the home at the time of the raid were also arrested.
"A 55-year-old man is facing charges of possession while two others, a 21-year-old man and a 47-year-old female are facing charges of trafficking."
Clark says Hayes' actions are also being investigated.
"We are considering the totality of the circumstances including the quantity of drugs and the intent of the transaction on his part. We are continuing to consult with Crown Counsel," says Clark.
"I can't say whether a determination has been made."
He did say police do not condone the undercover operation.
"Not only does it put his personal safety at great risk, but it could also potentially impact other people's safety. As well, it may also impact any ongoing investigation," says Clark.
"He committed a criminal offence in doing so."
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