An undercover drug sting has netted 15 individuals in Penticton who are facing a total of 39 criminal charges, mostly for trafficking cocaine.
Penticton RCMP Drug Task Force with the assistance of the South Okanagan RCMP Regional GIS conducted the undercover drug operation in late April that also netted three Oliver/Osoyoos individuals on trafficking charges.
“Other drugs purchased by the undercover officers included various prescription pills and marijuana,” said Cpl. Brad Myhre. “In one search warrant at a residence on Beames Lane in Penticton, executed as a result of the project, officers located cocaine and a loaded handgun. A 21-year-old male was released from custody facing weapons and drug charges.”
Myhre said of those charged all of them are “repeat customers,” having been in trouble before or currently on bail for other charges. While the round-up of individuals seems large, Myhre said it will have a minimal effect on the drug trade.
“It may have a temporary effect or impact on the local drug dealing scene, but in the long run there is always new people to step into those roles,” said Myhre.
It doesn’t make a lot of long-term difference. These guys were definitely street level and it goes to show that crack cocaine is still the number one drug here.”
Charges have so far been laid against the following Keenan Wayne Murray, 19, with three counts of trafficking cocaine, one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking in cocaine and one count of breach of recognizance; Rhonda Gay Houde, 46, with three counts of trafficking (two morphine, one cocaine) and one count of possession of morphine; Erick Joseph Lussier, 40, with two counts of trafficking cocaine and one count of trafficking of morphine; Cody Taylor Russell, 20, one count of trafficking cocaine; Joshua John McIsaac, 21, four counts of trafficking cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking; Dennis Earl Baker, 51, one count of trafficking morphine, one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of dilauded for the purpose of trafficking; Todd Alexander Proppe, 47, three counts of trafficking cocaine; Jamey Corrine Kovach, 31, two counts of trafficking cocaine; Gene Edward Golder, 52, three counts of trafficking marijuana, one count of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and Abbas Saeed Abbas, 31, one count of trafficking cocaine (currently has a warrant for his arrest for this charge).
Cpl. Myhre said police are currently actively looking for the remaining outstanding suspects.
Of the suspects arrested so far, some have been remanded in custody and some have been released on bail by the courts. RCMP said more charges could be pending take the count over the 39 already laid.