Police arrest 32 in drug dealing crackdown as annual meth seizures leap by 20%

Police arrest 32 in drug dealing crackdown as annual meth seizures leap by 20%

To combat what they call an "exponential growth of methamphetamine" in the city, Calgary police launched the Daylight Initiative in December.

It was a three-week operation targeting street-level dealing that resulted in 32 arrests and 172 charges — 81 under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and 91 under the Criminal Code.

The charges relate to trafficking of meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

Over the past five years, seizures of meth in Calgary have increased significantly, police say, and 2018 was the first time more than 1,000 were recorded, marking a 20 per cent jump from the previous year.

"Fentanyl has received a lot of attention recently, and rightly so, people are dying. Fentanyl is a community health issue, it affects families in a very tragic way," said Insp. Kevin Forsen in a statement issued Thursday.

"However, we believe meth is truly a crime and community safety issue. Meth is the driving force behind much of our property crime and random violence. It is also a significant officer safety issue due to the erratic behaviour of some users."

Police said that in 2016, there were four cases of people being caught driving while under the influence of meth, which jumped to 13 in 2017. Toxicology results are still pending for a number of cases, but police say last year's number is expected to surpass 2017.

The number of cases involving violence in Calgary also jumped by 10 per cent last year compared with 2017.  

Signs of ongoing drug trafficking from a residence can include:

  • Vehicles or people coming and going at all hours of the day and night for brief periods of time.
  • Individuals leaving the residence to go to a waiting vehicle or nearby location for a very brief period of time then returning to the home.
  • Abandoned vehicles near the area in question, typically with some form of damage.
  • Garbage, litter or discarded needles near the residence in question.

Calgarians can report drug houses by calling the Drug Tip Line at 403-428-8100, by email or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.