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Kelowna  

Major Drug Bust: Update

Police say the accused were well established in the Okanagan and were fully independent.

Five people, most from Kelowna, are facing serious drug charges following a lengthy investigation of an organized crime group that was infiltrated by police and involves three local businesses. Police have identified one of the businesses as the Kelowna Marina located beside the Fintry Queen at the base of Bernard Avenue.

The marina, which rents out boats and personal watercraft, was being operated Mark Zagar -- one of the accused.

During the four month investigation, police seized six kilos of cocaine, more than 400 tablets of ecstasy, two vehicles and $70,000 in cash.

Police are not releasing the names of the other businesses involved in the investigation, which according to Sergeant Neil Skippon, began last year with a focus on a known drug dealer named Thomas Fraser.

"The investigation began last May and we were targeting a person who is known to us. That person was before the courts on trafficking issues. As a result of certain observations, we embarked on an investigation that identified an organized crime group that was operating and very active within the Okanagan area."

Fraser was scheduled to stand trial in Penticton on trafficking charges and has a lengthy criminal record.

The other accused are Jason Herrick, Brent Nagy -- both Kelowna residents, and Margo Safadi of Vancouver.

Sergeant Skippon says Safadi would allegedly supply the cocaine to the Okanagan.

"The role of Miss Safadi was bringing the cocaine at the multi-kilo level to the Okanagan from the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area."

Sergeant Skippon says the accused have no affiliation with the Hells Angels or the Independent Soldiers -- two organized groups operating in Kelowna.


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