43 charged after year-long police investigation into Peace Region gang activity

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC has announced this morning that they have made a major dent in organised drug trafficking crime rings operating in the BC Peace Region, laying charges against 43 individuals.

The CFSEU-BC’s North District Office began their investigation into street and mid-level drug traffickers operating in the Peace Region back in July of 2015. That investigation resulted in the arrests of multiple individuals and the seizure of cocaine, fentanyl, percocets, and an AR15 semi-automatic rifle.

Five additional search warrants resulted in the seizure of more cocaine and fentanyl, as well as and two additional firearms. Numerous other traffic stops conducted during the investigation also resulted in the seizure of cocaine, fentanyl, and cash.

In total the seizures yielded:

  • One .22 calibre rifle
  • One loaded 12 gauge shotgun
  • One AR15 semi-automatic rifle
  • 74 ounces of Cocaine
  • Approximately 700 fentanyl Pills/Capsules
  • 3.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine
  • 17.4 grams of an amphetamine
  • Two percocets
  • 1.75 litres of liquid GHB
  • Approximately $70,000.00 in cash

Between December 5th, 2015 and May 24th, 2016, the CFSEU-BC, along with the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John RCMP detachments conducted nine roundups of 29 individuals involved.

On December 5th, 2015, investigators arrested two suspects in Dawson Creek for attempting to sell 24 ounces of cocaine for $39,000. 37-year old Dawson Creek resident Jamie Christopher St. Denis was originally charged with 18 drug and firearms offenses. On February 19th, St. Denis pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking cocaine, trafficking a firearm, and possession of an illegal firearm. He received 7.5 years in jail and is currently behind bars. 30-year old Christina Marie MacKay of Bay Tree, Alberta has been charged with one count of trafficking cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of breach of conditions.

After a separate arrest, 36-year old Dawson Creek resident Ryan Holden was charged with: one count of possession of a firearm without license or registration, two counts of possession of a fire knowing no license or registration, two counts of possession of a fire contrary to order, one count of careless use or storage of a firearm, one count possession of body armour without a permit, and one count possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Holden and Mackay are set to appear in a Dawson Creek court on July 14th and 15th at 9:30 AM for a preliminary hearing.

In a release, the CFSEU-BC’s Chief Superintendent Kevin Hackett said “These enforcement actions are a blow to the capabilities of certain gang members in BC’s North and Peace regions. We have taken guns and drugs off the streets of our communities, and reduced the threat to public safety. CFSEU-BC will continue its relentless pursuit of those gang members and their associates who choose to continue their criminal enterprises and place our communities at risk.”

“This multi-jurisdictional investigation pulled together a number or local, regional and provincial resources to target the illegal and criminal activities within the BC’s Peace Region. Success was due to an intelligence-based, targeted and coordinated approach which will continue to be a priority for North District,” said RCMP E Division North District Commander Chief Superintendent Lesley Bain. “We remain committed to identifying, investigating, disrupting and deterring those who chose to commit offences in our northern communities”.

Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Morris said “Today’s announcement from the CFSEU-BC North District Office is an example of successful integration, collaboration and solid police work and on behalf of the Province, families, and communities of B.C.’s Peace Region we thank you. By removing drugs, firearms and the cash associated with them, you have not only disrupted those illegal activities, but you have sent a message to others that we will not tolerate violence and gang activity in our communities.”

In total, 43 individuals are facing charges as a result of this investigation, while 14 others are still at large while investigators attempt to locate and arrest them.

The CFSEU-BC would like to thank the Dawson Creek RCMP and the Fort St. John RCMP for their assistance with this investigation.