Date: Friday, April 5, 2024 

File: 24-6290 

Victoria, BC – Last month, a man suspected of engaging in drug trafficking throughout the Greater Victoria area was arrested after a proactive investigation by VicPD’s Strike Force unit.  

During the investigation, which began in late February of 2024, the suspect was observed making several visits to a storage locker in Sooke. Investigators obtained a warrant to search the storage locker and located various illicit substances and approximately $48,000 worth of brand-new merchandise believed to be stolen, including: 

  • 4,054 suspected oxycodone pills 
  • 554 grams of cocaine 
  • 136 grams of methamphetamine 
  • 10 vacuums 
  • Five Kitchen Aid mixers 
  • A Milwaukee miter saw, chainsaws, drills, a metal detector and various other tools, clothing, and accessories 

Various Stolen Items Were Found In The Storage Locker, With A Total Estimated Value of $48,000  

The suspect is known to police, as he was previously arrested as part of a drug trafficking investigation in December of 2023. In that instance, investigators seized over 3 kilograms of illicit substances from the suspect, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl. 

Drugs Seized Include Over 4,000 Of Suspected Opioid Pills 

The suspect was arrested on March 14 and released pending further investigation.  

“This is another example of the excellent investigative work done by our Strike Force unit,” says Chief Del Manak. “The arrest sends a strong signal that we are focusing on those who are engaging in retail theft and illegal drug trafficking. We know these crimes have an impact on our collective sense of security, and we will continue to dedicate resources towards proactive projects and investigations to combat it.” 

Last year, VicPD began an operation dubbed Project Lifter, which was created in response to concerns raised by the community and businesses to crackdown on violent retail theft offenders. In just two weekends, 43 arrests were made and close to $40,000 in stolen merchandise was returned. More details on Project Lifter can be found here. 

Why Was This Person Released? 

Bill C-75, which came into effect nationally in 2019, legislated a “principle of restraint” that requires police to release an accused person at the earliest possible opportunity after considering certain factors which include the likelihood the accused will attend court, the imminence of the risk posed to public safety, and the impact on confidence in the criminal justice system. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every person has the right to liberty and the presumption of innocence pre-trial. Police are also asked to consider the circumstances of Indigenous or vulnerable persons in the process, in order to address the disproportionate impacts that the criminal justice system has on these populations.