WINNIPEG – Three people have been arrested as police break up an alleged drug trafficking ring in Westman.
The RCMP, Brandon Police and Winnipeg Police seized cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana with a street value of around $250,000. They also confiscated shotguns, rifles a crossbow, cash and several vehicles.
Brandon Police Deputy Chief Randy Lewis says the seven month operation, dubbed Project Derringer will put a significant dent in the drug trade in southwest Manitoba.
“I certainly see it as a significant distruption,” he says. “It’s certainly a very positive move in our battle against drugs.”
Lewis believes the arrests will help end a recent string of violence in Brandon. That city has seen a notable increase in violent crime in recent weeks with multiple shootings putting the city on edge.
The deputy police chief also believes those shootings were targeted and tied to the drug trade. He says he hopes this weeks arrests will calm things down.
“I’m well aware that the recent gun violence created fear in our community. This is what happens what organized crime enters a community. It creates an environment where public safety is put at risk.”
Lewis says the investigation is ongoing and the men in custody could be hit with additional charges. Other people may be arrested as well.
Police would not reveal any details about the nature of this operation or whether informants were used. One of the three men arrested is from Ontario another is from Brandon and a third is from the community of Griswold, about 40 kilometres southwest of Brandon.