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Police raid two homes, seize guns and drugs

Dec 09 2011

More than two dozen officers carried out raids on two homes Thursday night seizing a cache of guns and drugs and arresting three alleged drug dealers.

Saanich police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen said a four-month drug and organized crime investigation by several departments has resulted in the seizure of five firearms and cocaine and in three major drug dealers being taken off Victoria streets.

“This was a gang of well-organized, well-armed drug dealers,” Jantzen said. “This is beyond a basic street corner operation. They were very well-known in the local area, not just to police but in the drug underworld.”

Around 5 p.m., members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team armed with rifles stopped a car near the intersection of Quadra Street and Tolmie Avenue. Two Saanich men, a 29-year-old and a 31-year-old, were arrested.

The tactical team raided their home in the 4000-block of Kincaid Street and seized an undisclosed amount of street-ready cocaine, Jantzen said.

Officers raided the an apartment unit in the Hudson building in the 700-block of Fisgard Street and found five firearms.

Two of the five firearms seized were fully automatic machine guns with silencers, which are illegal. The other three guns were long-barrelled firearms.

A third man, a 24-year-old Victoria man linked to the Hudson residence, was arrested downtown, Jantzen said.

The investigation was carried out by Saanich police’s street crime unit, the Victoria police strike force, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which focuses on organized crime.

Officers carried out surveillance to collect information on what Jantzen called a “highly sophisticated operation.”

The two Saanich men were released on strict conditions facing weapons and drug trafficking charges. The 24-year-old Victoria man remains in police custody and will appear in court Friday facing weapons and drug charges.

Their names were not released as they have not yet been formally charged.

kderosa@timescolonist.com