Eleven charged in drug operation involving four NWT communities

A file photo of an RCMP vehicle.
A file photo of an RCMP vehicle. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

RCMP say four NWT detachments combined to make 11 arrests this month in an operation against “a loosely associated group of drug traffickers.”

Police in Hay River, Fort Simpson, Behchokǫ̀ and Fort Smith took part in what RCMP called a “coordinated drug project” in a Monday press release.

The operation culminated in three raids in Hay River early on Friday morning last week, police said, providing more information following a request from Cabin Radio regarding an earlier, vague advisory issued in the town that day.

At the time, RCMP said their operation was focused on the vicinity of Hay River’s Riverbend Road and the Rowe’s trailer court.



“During the execution of these warrants, officers encountered barricades and fortifications to one home that required specialized breaching equipment to defeat,” police added on Monday. (This isn’t the first time in recent history that police have faced the problem of fortified homes in the town.)

The 11 people arrested face charges related to cocaine trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime and resisting arrest, RCMP said. None of those arrested were publicly identified.

“This operation also resulted in the seizure of $52,000 in cash and approximately 477 grams of crack cocaine,” Monday’s press release continued.

Police said Friday’s raids followed two weeks of work that included three traffic stops, a range of arrests and “the recovery of evidence related to drug trafficking.”

Officers from the Yukon and Alberta, an explosives disposal unit and a crisis negotiation team were also involved, RCMP said.