Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Property tied to drug bust seized

Dope ring operated in western Manitoba

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Motorcycles, classic cars and snowmobiles are among the property seized in the wake of the biggest drug bust in the history of the Brandon police force.

Witnesses say a procession of flatbed tow trucks hauled away vehicles from the home of an accused north of Kemnay on Wednesday morning.

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"There was cop cars down there..." said one area resident, who described some of the items taken, goods that presumably belong to the homeowner. "I saw two cars go by, one on each semi, and then some Skidoos... his big red truck went by on a flatbed too."

"We did see police cars and two trucks," said another resident. "They took a lot of equipment away there. Cars and motorcycles and snowmobiles."

The residents asked not to be identified.

Judging by their descriptions and court documents, the cars taken away were likely a "souped up" 1981 Chevrolet Camaro and 1978 Ford Mustang. The truck might have been a 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 Laramie Mega Cab pickup truck.

Those vehicles are among a long list of items seized, and assets and funds frozen, in connection with a lengthy drug investigation by the Brandon Police Service.

In October, police announced $2-million worth of drugs were seized during a search of rural properties near Brandon and Gilbert Plains. Details of the covert police investigation came to light this week after justice officials moved to seize property and assets said to be linked to "an elaborate, large-scale drug-trafficking network."

What follows are allegations based on civil court documents which haven't been proven in court.

Since 2003, Brandon police received more than 380 tips from numerous sources a man was shipping marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy into Manitoba. Two other men were later identified as also being suspects in the operation.

The drugs were being shipped from British Columbia.

It's alleged, once in Manitoba, the drugs were taken to a property near Kemnay and a property in the RM of Gilbert Plains where they were stored, repackaged and distributed to Brandon and Dauphin drug dealers.

The big break in the case came on Oct. 14, 2012, when a Brandon police officer got a tip a shipment of marijuana and cocaine was headed for a property in the RM of Gilbert Plains. The total value of the drugs seized from the RM of Gilbert Plains property was estimated at between $985,000 and $2.2 million.

That day, police also searched a Kemnay-area home and property. According to the court documents, police found $2,665 in cash and one pound of compressed ecstasy with a street value of $136,200.

Firearms were also found on the property.

Three men said to be important players in the drug operation were arrested as a result of the searches.

The case took another step this week when the director of criminal property and forfeiture was granted an interim preservation order from a Court of Queen's Bench judge. That allowed the seizure of property and freezing of accounts and assets -- including five properties, 18 vehicles and two trailers -- said to belong to a number of individuals and a corporation.

Jayant David Venn, Reid and Garret Dykun and Brian Decosse are all charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and other charges.

-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 13, 2013 A13

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