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Head of family support centre charged in drug bust
Police seize about kilogram of marijuana on Highway 1

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, June 10, 2013

ENTERPRISE
The executive director of the Hay River Family Support Centre has been charged after a major drug bust near Enterprise.

Michelle Charlotte Schmitz, 47, has been charged with possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The drug seizure occurred early this month near Enterprise and was one of the most significant busts made recently in the NWT.

"This is one of our larger ones so far in the 2013 year," said Cpl. Barry Ledoux, media relations officer with RCMP G Division in Yellowknife.

Schmitz has been released from custody and will next appear in Hay River Territorial Court on Aug. 19. The Hay River Family Support Centre could not be reached by press time to confirm if Schmitz was still working or on leave while the charges are dealt with.

At about 4:30 p.m. on June 2, members of the RCMP's Traffic Services, with the assistance of Hay River Police Dog Services, seized about a kilogram of marijuana from a vehicle on Highway 1 near Enterprise.

Ledoux said the traffic stop was not based on a tip nor were officers looking for a specific vehicle.

"Basically, it was a traffic stop and, from there, members found information and there was sufficient evidence to enter into a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act investigation,

which further revealed the drugs," he said.

Ledoux said the police don't know where the drugs were destined.

Ledoux said there has been a decrease in the number of significant drug busts this year in the NWT, but it is unclear why that is the case.

However, he did point to the efforts of the RCMP in Hay River as disrupting the northward flow of drugs. Ledoux added the drug trade contributes to incidents of assault, theft and other crimes.

"One of the most significant contributing factors is that Hay River RCMP detachment is doing a great job intercepting a lot of this substance on the highways destined for the North," he said.

Ledoux said the drug seizure on June 2 was significant.

"When you get something in the quantity of two pounds, that's going to have a significant impact on a community."

- with files from Sarah Ladik

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