Oceanside RCMP reports that police have arrested three men following the search of two units at 354 Island Hwy., a suspected drug house in Parksville.
The area has seen drug activity for at least two years, with citizens who live nearby having previously expressed their concerns to The NEWS over drug use and dealing at a nearby trail and beach area just across from the suspected drug house.
“We would certainly hope that this would be enough to shut (the drug house) down,” said Cpl. Jesse Foreman, media contact with Oceanside RCMP. “If not, we’re going to be back.”
After “a lengthy investigation” that included about two months worth of surveillance, police obtained a search warrant for units one and two of the four-plex building on Tuesday, July 10, according to an Oceanside RCMP press release.
A 29-year-old Parksville man of no fixed address was arrested after leaving the residence, and was found in possession of an amount of suspected heroin and suspected methamphetamine “that he had reportedly just purchased from someone inside the residence.”
At about 7:30 p.m., police entered the building, where nine people were found in the two units involved in the search. Two men from the residences, aged 27 and 39, were arrested after they were found to be in possession of drugs. Scales, packaging materials and cash (further evidence to support trafficking, note police in the press release) were also seized.
One of the two arrested males was released on a promise to appear, while the other was held in custody and was scheduled to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court Wednesday, July 11.
A Parksville resident who lives nearby the suspected drug house said they and others are concerned about drug deals and drug use connected to this house taking place at a public trail just across the highway from it, where people access the beach.
The local said that children from a nearby preschool have had to halt beach outings due to encountering needles on the pathway.
“We residents and tax payers feel under siege and unable to enjoy our environment due to this unrelenting abuse of our public beach access by these people,” they said.
In a The NEWS story from 2016, other nearby residents spoke to The NEWS of their concerns with the trail and beach area, saying that children have found needles, and that they’ve seen drug deals go down, and drug use take place there.
Asked about these concerns, Foreman said, “We do believe that this house was selling drugs and that there has been a lot of calls to that trail, however when the RCMP show up, we can’t just go about arresting people that are walking on a trail.
“We have to have solid evidence in order to make an arrest. Calling in suspicious people is great, but when we arrive, we need to make a connection, we need to make a lawful arrest. We can’t just suspect something.”