Gangs targeting young drug dealers: Police
Abbotsford Police have issued a warning to young men and women who dabble in small-time drug dealing: they could be targets.
Teenagers could be as easily targeted as big-time gangsters in the current drug and gang-related shootings in the Lower Mainland, Abbotsford Chief Constable Bob Rich said at a press conference Thursday.
"This is a warning to all young people who are engaged in the sale of drugs at any level,' Rich said. "You are at risk."
Police believe organizations like the UN Gang don't care how young a drug dealer may be.
"Any young person, because of the potential for retaliation, because of the confusion that exists for who's associated with who, is at risk," Rich said.
The unprecedented announcement comes after several murders since the end of March. Sean Murphy, Ryan Richards, Dilsher Gill and Joseph Randay were all found dead in the Abbotsford area. Police believe they were associated in some way with the Red Scorpions.
Abbotsford residents Mike and Shane admit they used to sell drugs. They also knew some of the victims.
"I knew Ryan Richards. I actually used to work with him, same phone he used to work," Mike said.
"And I got out of it. I'm glad I did, or I could have been dead, right?"
They say the theory that anyone dealing is a target isn't news to them.
"Yeah, they're ruthless, man," Mike said.
High school student Adam Fullawka says he's been approached to sell drugs, but refused.
"You sell one amount of weed and they don't like you, they'll pretty much shoot you," Fullawka said. "Everyone knows it, but they still do it."
Mike says once you've started, it's hard to escape.
"You have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars sometimes, just to stop working for them. And if you get busted with a big pack on you, you'll be in serious debt with them, and they'll kill you over that."
Young people who deal drugs and want out can call the Youth Help Line at 604-864-4787.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander.