Surrey, BC – Surrey RCMP has arrested three individuals and seized thousands of dosages of street level drugs, including suspected fentanyl, and approximately $16,000 in Canadian currency as a result of a two month long drug investigation.
In November 2016, Surrey RCMP launched a strategic drug investigation as a result of the high number of overdose related deaths. The investigation focused on drug traffickers who were believed to be supplying drugs to the 135A Street area in north Surrey.
As a result of this complex investigation, a search warrant was executed on January 13, 2017, in the 10100 block of 127th Street in Surrey. This search resulted in the seizure of approximately 240 doses of suspected heroin/fentanyl, 21 doses of methamphetamine packaged for sale, and approximately $13,000 in Canadian currency. A 30 year old Surrey man was arrested.
A subsequent search warrant was executed on January 26, 2017, in the 9500 block of 127th Street. The search warrant resulted in the seizure of 3,600 doses of suspected heroin/fentanyl, 500 doses of methamphetamine, and 410 doses of crack cocaine all packaged for street level sale. Also seized was approximately $3,000 in Canadian currency. Lee Roy BRAATEN, 54 years old from Surrey, has been charged with three counts of Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Also arrested and charged with drug related offences is 47 year old Surrey resident Wanda STOPA. STOPA was arrested in the 10600 block of 135A Street as a result of this ongoing investigation. Her arrest and the subsequent seizure of suspected heroin/fentanyl prevented approximately 300 doses of the potentially fatal drug from reaching the streets. STOPA has been charged with two counts of Possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking and one count of Failing to comply with a recognizance.
“Surrey has had the second highest number of overdose deaths in BC, second only to Vancouver,” says Inspector Shawna Baher, Surrey RCMP Proactive Enforcement Officer. “The 135A Street area and the people that frequent that area have been significantly impacted by the ongoing fentanyl health crisis. These drug seizures, arrests, and charges were the result of the coordinated efforts of the Surrey RCMP Drug Section, our Crime Reduction Unit, and the Surrey Outreach Team. This investigation will have a significant impact on illegal drug activity in this area and has no doubt saved lives.”
“The Surrey Outreach Team has been working diligently to build relationships with the residents and businesses in and around 135A Street,” says Inspector Andy LeClair, Surrey RCMP’s Community Support and Safety Officer. “By being present and gaining an understanding of the needs of the residents and businesses, we are able to improve public safety. One of the goals of this team has always been to take any enforcement action necessary as it relates to those that prey upon the most vulnerable people in this area.”
Police File # 2016-169285