Drug arrests in PEI and Nova Scotia following bus depot seizures
The RCMP’s Federal Intelligence Unit has made four arrests in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island after a three-month investigation into illegal drugs being transported by Maritime Bus vehicles.
The investigation was dubbed Operation Highspeed, and a press release issued this week said it was about the shipment of drugs and related paraphernalia through the three lakes provinces and Ontario.
“With COVID, the world has changed a lot in the way people move things,” RCMP Sgt. said Chris Gunn. “People involved in the illegal drug trade are always trying new techniques or changing the way they work so they can make it more difficult for the police to catch them.”
In particular, Gunn mentioned “transport systems or couriers – not typical as we have seen in the past”.
Three men and a woman, arrested in mid-January, have since been released pending court hearings on a range of charges including trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to commit the offense of trafficking in a controlled substance .
A man and the woman are from Halifax and were arrested there at a bus station. The other two men are residents of Murray Harbor and Lower Montague on PEI, and Gunn said they were arrested at the Charlottetown bus depot. Police are still looking for another suspect in Halifax.
Maritime Bus owner Mike Cassidy said most companies that handle cargo eventually cooperate with the police.
“They had very, very strong evidence that a particular package on our bus on a particular day that left Halifax and came to Charlottetown could contain drugs,” he told CBC News when he arrived at his Charlottetown depot after the police operation was asked in January.
“And we worked very closely with the RCMP that day to make sure we did what we were supposed to do.”
Cassidy said his company is “just part of the big wheel” regarding the operation, making sure the package was properly signed by the party receiving it before officers moved in.
The first arrests were followed by the execution of search warrants in both provinces.
Photos posted to the Nova Scotia RCMP Facebook page showed confiscated cash and drugs, including 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of MDMA and about 4,000 psilocybin capsules, commonly known as magic mushrooms.
Gunn said the investigation is ongoing.