Charlottetown police operation targeted 10 separate gropus involved in drug trade
© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Charlottetown police have arrested more than 40 people in connection with a drug investigation called Operation Clean Sweep.
Several people who were charged as part of the recent drug busts known as Operation Clean Sweep appeared in court Monday morning to determine if they should stay in custody while their cases move through the courts.
Of the four men who appeared before justice of the peace Charles Thompson, three of them had their show cause hearings adjourned until later in the week.
The other man, 24-year-old Jordan Douglas Milley, will remain in custody until his case is dealt with after Thompson decided he shouldn't be released.
Milley is charged with three counts of trafficking cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
The hearing also provided a few more details about the police operation that lasted four months and led to the arrest of about 40 people, along with the seizure of more than $400,000 in drugs.
All but a few of the people arrested were released Friday after appearing before a justice of the peace.
During the hearing, federal Crown attorney Scott Barry told the court that on Sept. 9, 2013, Charlottetown police started an investigation that targeted 10 separate groups they believed were involved in the drug trade.
The goal was a widespread disruption of the drug trade.
Barry said someone, who referred to only as a police agent, received a text message from a person who was supposed to be looking after a larger drug operation while the head of that operation was out of the country.
After a series of text messages, the police agent allegedly met Milley three times in various business parking lots to buy cocaine, Barry said.
In total, Barry said the agent gave Milley $4,600 in exchange for 82 grams of cocaine.
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On Jan. 30, the police searched a cottage Milley rented in Cumberland where Barry said they found a significant amount of cocaine and seven pounds of marijuana.
Barry said the cocaine had a street value of about $27,000 if sold by the ounce, while the marijuana was worth about $17,500.
If the drugs were sold in smaller quantities the prices would be higher, Barry said.
In arguing that Milley should remain in custody, Barry said he was facing the possibility of significant jail time and likely owed someone money for the drugs that were found, which increased the likelihood Milley wouldn't attend court.
Milley's lawyer Brendan Hubley said his client has no criminal record and there was no evidence he would be a danger to the public if released.
Hubley also said Milley has ties to the community, including a job and family.
While Thompson said there was no evidence Milley would flee and no violence was involved, he ordered Milley held in custody until his case is dealt with through the courts.
Of the other men who appeared in court Monday as part of Operation Clean Sweep, all three had their show cause hearings adjourned until later this week.
Steven Wallace Frizzell, 40, will be back before Thompson on Wednesday, while Lloyd Wilfred Ellis, 36, and Laurie Joseph Doucette, 58, will both be back Friday.
Milley's next court date is Feb. 26 when he will appear before a provincial court judge.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.