RCMP see more cocaine in St. Albert
Drug popularity moving away from marijuana
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 06:00 am
Managing the drug scene in St. Albert has long been a concern for the RCMP, but increasingly the Mounties are cracking down on cocaine traffickers.
Const. Janice Schoepp said there has been a shift in the popularity of certain substances over the last few years, moving from gateway drugs like marijuana to more illicit substances like cocaine.
“I think there probably is more cocaine, and therefore people are more aware of it,” she said, adding the most seized drugs in St. Albert are marijuana, cocaine and MDMA, or ecstasy.
She said in addition to the increased prevalence of cocaine, there are also more cocaine trafficking-related charges being laid in the community.
“A lot of that is because we’re driven by intelligence so that’s the sort of information we receive,” she said.
She said it is hard to pinpoint whether the drug problem is growing in St. Albert, but said the problem is in no way unique to the community.
“I think the drug community is everywhere, whether people have more income or less income,” Schoepp said. “I think because of where we’re situated, right next to Edmonton, drug traffickers just don’t stop at the boundary.”
She said the public is more willing to share information now about suspected drug traffickers, which often plays a part in building a case.
The St. Albert RCMP Drug Unit lunched a confidential drug-tip line in February to help bring drug traffickers and producers to justice.
“The first couple months, it was very slow,” Schoepp said. “They’re starting to get more information and people are starting to provide more information.”
She said each piece of information they receive on the tip line is evaluated and can be used to build a case against a suspected drug trafficker.
Schoepp said the dissemination and sharing of information with various law enforcement agencies also plays a vital role in getting drug traffickers off the street, adding cooperation has improved over the years.
Individuals who suspect illegal drug activity in their neighbourhood are encouraged to call the tip line at 780-460-3784.