POLICE TARGET DIAL-A-DOPERS
Smarter drug dealers requires more intelligent police work but so far local RCMP aren't sure if they're winning the battle of wits.
Last year police began targeting the drug trade in the Edmonds area. Many of the illegal operations were being run out of rental homes but they were effectively shutdown through buy-and-bust operations and other means.
Drug dealers changed their way of carrying out business as a result of the stepped up police work. Now they've become much more mobile.
The local drug trade has been taken over by dial-a-dopers, said Corp. Marty Blais, with the Edmonds Community Police Office. The tools of the trade for these dealers are cars, cell phones and, of course, drugs.
They operate an awful lot like a pizza delivery service. A user calls in an order to a cell phone and the dealer delivers - right to your front door if you want it. And like the proverbial pizza, they'll deliver anything a customer wants - with crack cocaine and heroin being the local drugs of choice.
When police bust a dial-a-doper they usually recover a small quantity of drugs. Dealers carry small amounts and then go back to a distributor when they run out.
Last week police managed to catch a dealer with a lot more than usual.
After busting a dial-a-doper, a search turned up the address of the distribution location. Police then searched a motel room and discovered almost $5,000 worth of crack cocaine and powdered heroin plus $1,300 in cash.
"They were basically working out of a hotel," said Const. Mark Fodder. The distributor would send three to four dial-a-dopers out on to the street with product to sell. When they ran out they would return for more.
They're harder to catch but it's not impossible, said Fodder. There are certain behaviours police look for to identify a dial-a-doper.
"This summer there were so many of them. It was like shooting fish in a barrel," he said. "But they've gotten a lot more sophisticated since then."
Dealers have taken to changing their phone numbers and cars to throw police off.
They're also a lot like cockroaches too, said Fodder. Step on one and two more take its place.