Ten people, including seven women, have been charged following a drug sting by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).
The operation, headed by the APD’s bike squad and dubbed “Project Crackdown,” was held over four days early this month.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the focus was on people selling crack cocaine and heroin in the downtown core, including the area around Jubilee Park, located at McCallum Road and South Fraser Way.
“We felt there were legitimate complaints about activities going on in the downtown that we were hearing about from business owners and citizens,” he said.
MacDonald said the investigation involved undercover purchases of drugs at various locations throughout the day.
Some transactions were done on the street, while others were conducted from vehicles that were constantly moving around in lanes and parking lots, MacDonald added.
The 10 people arrested have all been charged with trafficking drugs and range in age from 28 to 52.
Since 2005, the individuals have been involved in more than 1,200 interactions with police, resulting in 146 previous charges being recommended, MacDonald said.
He said, of the people charged, the person with the highest number of prior interactions is a man with 338. The second highest is a woman with 203.
MacDonald said the ages of the people charged and the fact that seven women were involved might debunk some of the myths that people have about the drug trade in Abbotsford.
“I think a lot of people imagine that drug transactions are conducted by people in their 20s … young guys with tattoos and pumped up on steroids,” he said.
Although the drug trade is connected to gangs and organized crime, MacDonald said people working at the street level likely wouldn’t be aware of the specific connections.
“They’re caring more about the sale (of the drugs) than whose flag they’re flying,” he said.
Project Crackdown was conducted with the assistance of the APD’s patrol division and crime reduction unit.