Newly-expanded La Ronge RCMP GIS unit proactively targets drugs, guns in string of search warrants

La Ronge, Saskatchewan – Hundreds of grams of illegal drugs, drug trafficking paraphernalia and several illegally-possessed firearms have been removed from the La Ronge area thanks to the work and dedication of the La Ronge RCMP’s newly expanded General Investigation Section (GIS) unit.

“Getting drugs and guns off the streets is our top priority,” says Cpl. Drew Smith, the officer in charge of the unit, which uses specialized skills in search warrants and statement interviews to investigate serious crime in La Ronge and surrounding area.

La Ronge GIS used to be a one-officer unit, explains La Ronge Detachment Commander S/Sgt. Dean Bridle. “We found that with only one member, the unit seemed to be tied up with more serious files in a reactive way, as opposed to having the flexibility of being able to engage in intelligence-led, targeted project-style investigations.”

Newly-expanded La Ronge RCMP GIS unit proactively targets drugs, guns in string of search warrants
Newly-expanded La Ronge RCMP GIS unit proactively targets drugs, guns in string of search warrants

So in 2020, the team expanded to three members – one Corporal and two Constables. “We operate as an excellent team,” Cpl. Smith explains. “We play to each others’ strengths. The reason we’ve had so much success since January 2021 is having the right people in the right positions.”

The expanded team’s recent investigations have resulted in the seizure of significant amounts of drugs and weapons including:

On February 25, 2021, 4 grams of methamphetamine, 2.83 grams of cocaine and four 0.4-gram baggies of cocaine were seized from a residence and vehicles on the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

On March 1, 2021, 43.27 grams of cocaine, a semi-automatic firearm and trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a residence in La Ronge.

On March 12, 2021, 3.68 grams of methamphetamine, 25 hydromorphone pills and drug trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a residence in La Ronge.

On March 24, 2021, 520 grams of crack cocaine, approximately $10,000 in cash, a firearm and drug paraphernalia were seized from a residence in La Ronge.

On March 25, 2021, 4.87 grams of cocaine, drug trafficking paraphernalia and a homemade machete were seized from a residence in La Ronge.

On April 2, 2021, 120 hydromorphone pills, over $6,000 in cash, a replica firearm and drug trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a residence and vehicle on the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

On April 5, 2021, 51.52 grams of cocaine, 356 grams of illegal marijuana, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and drug trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a residence on the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

On April 21, 2021, a 12-gauge shotgun, a box of ammunition, and drug trafficking paraphernalia were seized on the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

On May 26, 2021, 9 grams of cocaine and trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a hotel room and vehicle in La Ronge.

On May 28, 4.26 grams of cocaine and trafficking paraphernalia were seized from a vehicle in La Ronge and a residence on the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

As a result of these separate incidents, officers charged 20 individuals with more than 50 criminal code offences, including drug trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime and illegal firearm possession charges.

“The results speak for themselves and have been very well received by the community with many positive and favourable comments on community-based social media,” S/Sgt. Bridle says. “As the Detachment Commander who updates the elected officials, I get to see how happy they are, so I am very happy.”

La Ronge RCMP

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