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Eleven charged as police target downtown Victoria corner

Apr 27 2012
Police have beefed up their enforcement activities in the area near Douglas and View streets in downtown Victoria. 

Police have beefed up their enforcement activities in the area near Douglas and View streets in downtown Victoria.

Photograph by: Lyle Stafford , timescolonist.com

Victoria police arrested and charged 11 people with drug trafficking after a crackdown on the corner of View and Douglas streets, which has become notorious for drug dealing, violent incidents and drunken debauchery.

The Focused Enforcement Team, which centres on the downtown core, patrol members and undercover officers had a heavy presence on the corner in the last six weeks, buying drugs from dealers, taking pot away from transient teens and shooing along panhandlers.

Undercover officers bought drugs from one person three times, said Const. Sean Cowperthwaite of the Focused Enforcement Team. Police allege 25-year-old Adam DiCarlo, who is charged with three counts of trafficking, largely contributed to the problems on the block with a large crowd gathering around him whenever he was downtown.

On Tuesday, police picked up a 13-year-old girl who was missing from her foster home and were disturbed to find her hanging out with a 22-year-old man.

"In this particular case we were getting lots of complaints about drug trafficking, people causing a disturbance or intimidating citizens, violence, fights [taking place] daytime and evening after bar closing," said Insp. Clark Russell, who heads the department's community and operation support unit.

Const. Chris Gilbert said recently police noticed that the area of Douglas between the McDonald's and the Bay Centre had gotten to a point that elderly people didn't feel safe waiting for the bus and passersby felt threatened by teens loitering in alcoves.

Steps from where the officers are talking at the northwest corner of View and Douglas streets, a cross remains in memory of 20-year-old Tyler Noble, who was killed after being punched during a drunken fight in the early morning hours of Nov. 26, 2011. Brandon Huth, 24, is charged with manslaughter.

In February, there was a stabbing in the 1200-block of Douglas Street after two men were fighting over a woman.

Police are hoping the courts will enforce a "red zone" for the downtown as part of the court conditions of those charged so the problem doesn't come back once the individuals are out of custody.

Ken Kelly, Downtown Victoria Business Association, praised the enforcement campaign, saying businesses in the area are happy at the result.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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