Cash and cocaine seized
RCMP weekend crackdown seizes 450 grams of cocaine and $90,000

Kirsten Larsen
Northern News Services

NNSL (Dec 30/98) - The seizure of $90,000 found in a box bound for Edmonton at the Yellowknife airport Sunday has led police to believe the cash is connected to a large quantity of cocaine discovered Saturday at a residence in Yellowknife.

Two bags of cocaine weighing in at about 450 grams (16 ounces) with an estimated street value of $100,000 were seized by RCMP on Boxing Day at a downtown residence.

A number of individuals at the residence were detained for questioning, subsequently released and charges are pending.

The seizure was a result of a two-week investigation conducted by the NWT drug section of the RCMP and the Yellowknife RCMP major crimes section.

Yellowknife RCMP received a tip alerting them to a piece of luggage destined for Edmonton, on Sunday, that was found to contain approximately $90,000.

Cpl. Mike Brandford said the money seized was Canadian currency, mostly smaller denominations of 10 and 20-dollar bills.

"There were some 50s and 100s," said Cpl. Brandford.

The luggage was being shipped out of Yellowknife, but Brandford would not say exactly where.

"It was destined for down south," said Brandford. "It was in luggage, in a box."

Edmonton police are questioning a male suspect who Brandford said is not a resident of Yellowknife but frequently travels from Edmonton to Yellowknife.

"We are not overlooking the fact this could be related," said Sgt. Marlin Degrand. "Anytime there is this amount of money found, the drug trade would be suspected to produce that amount and those denominations."

Staff Sgt. Dave Grundy, district commander of the North RCMP, said several suspects have been questioned in connection with the seizure of the cocaine, and confirmed arrests are pending against a number of Yellowknife residents.