Grand Falls-Windsor RCMP pull drugs, money from home in raid

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The RCMP in Grand Falls-Windsor believe they dealt a blow to the drug trade in the region this week, after a raid on a residence in the central Newfoundland town resulted in the confiscation of 3.5 kilograms of cocaine and a quantity of crack cocaine.

“We’ve disrupted that supply chain for now,” said Grand Falls-Windsor RCMP Staff Sgt. Kelly Bryan. “I think it will make our streets safer.”

On Tuesday, police executed a search warrant on the home that, in addition to the drugs, yielded a large amount of cash, a firearm, ammunition and a vehicle.

It was the conclusion of a month-long investigation by police.

As a result, a pair of people were arrested after the search of the home. One was 37-year-old Martin Racine of Grand Falls-Windsor.

“This investigation has removed a significant amount of cocaine from the streets of rural Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Bryan.

Racine appeared in provincial court on Wednesday and was charged with trafficking cocaine, possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine, unauthorized possession of a firearm and unsafe storage of a firearm.

Racine was released from custody and is scheduled to appear again on April 14. There were no charges laid against the other person arrested, although the investigation continues.

Bryan said police anticipate charges will be filed in the future.

The cocaine taken out of the home is believed to have a street value of $245,000 in its current form, and when broken down, the same amount would be worth up to $840,000, Bryan.

“At this time, we don’t have any connections with organized crime groups, but the investigation into that will be continuing as we move forward,” said Bryan.

The raid is just the latest instance of police making drug-related arrests in the Grand Falls-Windsor area in recent weeks.

Police recently made a pair of arrests concerning trafficking. Also, it’s been less than a year since an operation was undertaken to break up the Outlaw motorcycle gang.

As a result of an operation called Project Barbarian, that bust yielded a large amount of cocaine as well.

Bryan indicated there is no reason to think there is a link between the two.

“I believe this is indicative of the increased demand and use of the drugs in our community,” Bryan said of the recent increase in drug-related arrests. “It is a trend, it is going there and it is no longer, what we would say, a big city problem anymore.

“It’s moved out into small, rural Newfoundland and that’s where, in our belief anyway, this cocaine was headed.”

The police will continue to work to make the communities safer, and that includes dismantling these rings Bryan said.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to breaking up these drug trafficking networks,” said Bryan.

Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice