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Suspects traded street drugs for safer supply outside B.C. pharmacy, police say


Prince George RCMP say after multiple days of investigation, including surveillance outside one of the city’s pharmacies, officers arrested two people who had been offering illicit drugs in exchange for safer supply opioids.

Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said searches of the suspects uncovered "safer supply that was obviously not theirs on their person."

“A search warrant that was conducted subsequent to these arrests at the home of one of these people also located more diverted safer supply inside the residence, as well as evidence of drugs trafficking,” said Cooper.

When asked if the arrests gave him reason for concern about B.C.’s safer supply program, Premier David Eby pivoted to thanking the police.

“I am certainly grateful for the RCMP’s work on this, and continue to encourage them to investigate and address issues of diversion of prescription drugs of any kind, including prescribed alternatives,” said Eby.

Elenore Sturko, the BC United critic for mental health and addiction, said she’s not surprised drug dealers are exploiting safer supply users.

“Someone comes out of a pharmacy with their prescribed safe supply, and is met head on with a drug dealer offering them illicit drugs in exchange for those drugs to be then distributed into the community. It’s pretty evident this is exactly how this problem has become a problem in B.C.,” said Sturko, who is pushing the government to change to a witnessed safer supply program, where drugs are taken by the user on the spot, at the location the medication is handed out.

“Because when someone is taking the medication witnessed, it really cuts down their opportunity to then take that medication and exchange it for an illicit substance with a drug dealer,” said Sturko.

The two Prince George suspects arrested outside the pharmacy, who are known to police for similar drug trafficking offences, have been released from custody pending charges and further investigation.

“We do want to find out just how many places are being targeted for their safer supply. As patrons are coming out of the pharmacies, how many of them have drug dealers that are waiting to make exchanges for those medications,” said Cooper. “We want to find out where safer supply is going.” Top Stories

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