Hay River RCMP have arrested and charged a 37-year-old Alberta man after a traffic stop earlier this month on the Mackenzie Highway.
According to a press release, the stop happened on Nov. 12. A vehicle travelling toward Edmonton on the highway was pulled over and, as a result of an officer speaking with the driver, a search of the vehicle began. The driver was subsequently arrested for drug trafficking.
The vehicle was then towed to a secure location in town, where a more thorough search was conducted. That search uncovered three vacuum-sealed bags, each containing large amounts of cash. The total was estimated to be $133,410.
The suspect has been charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of proceeds of crime exceeding $5,000. He was released by a justice of the peace and has been ordered to appear in court in Hay River on Jan. 16, 2023.
RCMP Insp. Dean Riou, officer-in-charge of the south district of the NWT, stated that the investigation was a bittersweet one for police.
“This illicit cash would have ultimately been destined to high-level criminals who prey on our most vulnerable citizens, and we are pleased we were able to intercept it before it could reach them,” he said. “However, this is money that should have stayed in the community to pay for children’s activities, groceries, diapers, and other essentials. RCMP members see the daily impact of addictions in our communities, particularly in Hay River – a community that has recently suffered tragic losses as a result of addictions and the drug trade. We urge people to take back their community by reporting known or suspected drug activity to the RCMP.”
If you have any information about this particular incident, you’re asked to call Hay River RCMP at 867-874-1111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).