More bad news for gangs

Police say 94 charges have been laid, many against suspected gang members, after police smashed a ring that supplied drugs in south Delta and Vancouver.

A Delta Police Department news release says officers were alerted in March 2017 to the drug line that was operated out of Richmond and allowed purchasers to place orders by phone, in a process known as a dial-a-dope operation.

During the 16-month probe, investigators first targeted street level drug purchases, then gradually identified line managers and suppliers, with Delta police saying most are known Red Scorpion gang members and associates.

Evidence seized in raids last fall included a Red Scorpion ring, up to $100,000 in drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine and heroin, weapons including two assault rifles, $52,000 in cash, $30,000 in jewelry, four luxury vehicles and the master phone that controlled the dial-a-dope ring.

Police say four Red Scorpion members, Kyle Latimer, Khaadim Coddett, Jacob Pereira and Andeuele Pikeintio, all aged between 22 and 27, face a total of 66 charges, ranging from possession for the purpose of trafficking to firearms offences.

Thirty-three-year-old Billie Kim, who police say is a Red Scorpion associate, is charged with 14 counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and firearms offences while James Souliere, 27, is charged with 10 counts of trafficking and 27-year-old Darryl Whitson faces four counts.

The project targeted many of the same people named in a multi-agency gang investigation announced last week by Vancouver police but Delta says its probe was separate, although its officers communicated with members of the Vancouver-led task force.

Staff Sgt. Heath Newton with Delta Police says the probe was primarily interested in targeting traffickers.

"If we can break the illicit drug trade supply lines, even if it's only temporarily, we can save lives and reduce connected property crime stemming from drug addiction," Newton says in the news release.

Vancouver police announced last week that a multi-agency operation led to the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of drugs, more than 120 firearms and more than $1.6 million worth of cash and jewelry. Police also said 34 people had been arrested on a total of 201 charges since March last year.

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