FOUR sets of brass knuckles, two spring-loaded knives, three machetes, eight axes, one butterfly knife, nine fixed-bladed knives, one can of pepper spray, four hatchets, nine folding knives, one magazine for a .22 caliber firearm, one box of .22 caliber ammunition, one empty pistol holster, and one lock picking kit.
That’s what the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC’s) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) seized over four days in Kamloops when they stopped 78 vehicles and checked 132 people. The majority of those people were connected to the street-level drug trade.
While many of these items may be everyday tools for the general public, for individuals involved in criminal activity they can represent dangerous weapons used to intimidate or assault others, or to protect illegal commodities and proceeds of crime, according to the CFSEU-BC.
Of concern to overall public safety was the number of potential weapons located within vehicles and in close proximity to, or in the possession of, the occupants. Taking these potential weapons off the street and out of the hands of those involved in the drug trade was vital to the UGET violence suppression efforts while in Kamloops.
Members of the UGET were in Kamloops in the wake of two recent homicides in that city in order to try and mitigate, disrupt and suppress any further violence. By conducting active and high visibility enforcement in the community, including on those individuals or groups that may be posing the greatest risk to public safety due to their involvement in gang or organized crime activity, UGET was able to contribute to overall law enforcement efforts.
While UGET is based in the Lower Mainland and deploys daily into all of the local communities here, UGET members also regularly deploy to communities around the province, either proactively or reactively, to provide short term support to police agencies.
UGET worked in partnership with the Kamloops RCMP’s Crime Unit to ensure that the team was briefed on local crime hot spots and received up-to-date intelligence to help direct their enforcement activities.
Also seized was approximately $40,000 in cash believed to be directly tied to the drug trade and drug-related activities, as well as small quantities of suspected cocaine, crystal meth, and potentially deadly fentanyl.
“One of the core aspects of the overall CFSEU-BC enforcement strategy are the Uniform Gang Enforcement Teams (UGET),” said Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC Media Relations Officer. “UGET represents the overt, tactical and specialized uniform presence of CFSEU-BC which will directly interact with individuals involved in organized criminal activity to help our agency deliver on our mandate. Providing UGET support to Kamloops is a positive for the community and law enforcement.”