The Campbell River Street Crime Unit arrested two suspected drug dealers who attempted to evade apprehension by striking a police officer with their vehicle on Tuesday.
The suspects hid out at a residence and then attempted to run away from police once located. Their escape attempt failed and they have now been charged with numerous drug and criminal offences.
The situation began when members of the Street Crime Unit conducted a traffic stop on Cedar Street with a vehicle that was suspected to be involved in the local drug trade, Const. Jackelynn Biller said. The plainclothes police officers approached the stationary vehicle, which suddenly reversed and then accelerated forward in order to flee from the stop. As the vehicle pulled away, it struck one of the police officers. The vehicle fled the scene at a high rate of speed and was not pursued.
The suspect vehicle was located a short time later at an apartment building in Campbell River and police officers set up in the area. The suspects were observed leaving the area in a taxi cab and the officers moved in to safely stop the cab. The suspects attempted, again, to flee but were unsuccessful as police officers apprehended one suspect immediately after he exited the cab. The other suspect was captured after a brief foot chase.
As a result of the arrests of the individuals, police seized over $47,000, 72 grams of Heroin, 11 grams of powder Cocaine, 23 grams of Crack Cocaine an 13 grams of Crystal Meth.
The suspects, Jitesh Vagh and Karalo Nadeau, who are both from the Lower Mainland, were held in custody.
Vagh and Nadeau have both been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking and Possession of Proceeds of Crime.
Vagh is facing additional charges of Assaulting a Police Officer and Assaulting a Police Officer Causing Bodily Harm, Nadeau is also charged with obstructing/resisting a police officer.
The police officer that was hit by the vehicle is recovering from his injuries and has returned to full duties, Const. Biller.
“This is an clear example of the dedication of the Campbell River Street Crimes Unit to identify, target and apprehend individuals who choose to deal illegal drugs in this community. These officers were placed in a situation of extreme danger while attempting to arrest these suspected drug dealers and, unfortunately, one of our officers was injured. We are grateful that we were able to locate and safely apprehend the drug dealers without any further injury to Police, the public or the accused. In addition to arrests, we were able seize a significant quantity of drugs that were destined for the streets of this community,” Const. Biller said.