2 charged following police operation near Bedford Walmart

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A large police presence near a Walmart in Bedford, N.S., Tuesday sparked some public alarm, but RCMP say there was no risk to public safety.

RCMP say officers arrested one man near Damascus Road as part of a drug trafficking investigation.

"There is no public risk," the RCMP tweeted Tuesday morning.

The RCMP said Wednesday that a 44-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, both from Dartmouth, face charges.

The release said the Windsor district RCMP street crime enforcement unit, with help from the emergency response team and street crime enforcement units from Halifax and Annapolis, attempted to arrest the man as he was returning to his vehicle in a parking lot off of Damascus Road.

It said the suspect fled on foot and was arrested shortly after. The woman, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was also arrested nearby.

Police also searched a home in Dartmouth, where they seized "a significant quantity of cocaine, crack cocaine, cash and a replica firearm."

The man is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine, production of a Schedule 1 substance, possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, obstruction of a peace officer, and operation of a conveyance while prohibited. He was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The woman was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution. She has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court March 3, 2021.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau told CBC News Tuesday the situation was not related to arrests on Dec. 10, which involved a high-speed chase and crash in Halifax earlier this month.

A Halifax Regional Police car and officers were also at the Walmart, but an HRP spokesperson would only say it was an RCMP operation. The spokesperson said HRP was aware of the operation ahead of time.

The Walmart did not close and people continued to enter and exit the building.

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