Mark Rendell
Mark Rendell

Updated: Four Arrested in Drug Raids on 856 Gang

Two RCMP raids snag four people and "a significant quantity of crack cocaine" this afternoon.
 Arrest underway. Note: the plainclothes officer’s face has been blurred to conceal his identity on the request of the RCMP.

Updated at 4:45 July 16, 2014

Four people are in custody following two Thursday afternoon drug raids targeting 856 gang activity in Yellowknife. No charges have been announced, though according to an RCMP press release, officers “seized a significant quantity of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.”

“As this investigation is still on-going, the total quantity has not yet been calculated.”

One person was arrested at a hotel (unnamed in the RCMP press release) and three others were taken into custody from a two-storey house on 49a Ave (see below). All four people are from B.C., where the 856 gang is based.

“This is the fourth time in the past two years the RCMP has taken significant enforcement action against the 856 Gang in Yellowknife.  This not only shows the gang’s resilience, but also the commitment of the RCMP to thwart their illegal activities in the community,” says the release.

RCMP raid: smoke grenades, automatic weapons and an escape attempt. (Published at 3:00 p.m.)

Two men and one woman are under arrest following an afternoon raid on the top floor of a two-storey house on 49a Ave, one street down from Trail’s End.

It’s unclear at this point if the raid was drug-related. Const. Elenore Sturko, RCMP media liaison officer, said more details will be released later this afternoon.

The operation, which involved around a dozen officers, some in camouflage and carrying automatic rifles, began at around 1:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon, when at least five police vehicles, marked and unmarked, pulled up in front of the multi-unit house. According to a witness, who wished to remain unnamed, police ran up the stairs to the second storey apartment, smashed a window to the left of the door and threw what appeared to be smoke grenades into the building. One man tried bolting through the side door onto the deck but was shouted to the ground by police, the witness said. The other two people were seen coming out the front door in handcuffs.

The three people under arrest were new tenants in the building, according to another witness who lives in the vicinity and also asked for anonymity. He said the previous tenants had moved out of the building two weeks ago and he hadn’t seen the three individuals before.

All told the operation took no more than 20 minutes. Just after 1:30 p.m., the last person was put into a police vehicle and the special operations team left in unmarked vans. At the time EDGE left the scene, several officers appeared to be coming in and out of the house with boxes and cameras to collect evidence.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.