Victoria police arrest man selling cannabis products outside school

| Morton Robertson

Police in Victoria, BC, say they arrested a man in January with known gang associations who was selling vape products to students outside a local school.

The arrest was first announced as part of an ongoing covert operation called Project Halo. Officers say they observed the suspect selling vape products and interacting with students on and near school property in and around the Greater Victoria area during the day.  

The suspect was seen selling to youth across from local schools, including Esquimalt High School and Reynolds Secondary School, and was also observed on the property of North Saanich Middle School after school hours, according to a police press release. 

Items seized from the suspect include: 

  • 859 nicotine vapes 
  • 495 THC vapes 
  • 290 THC gummies 
  • 1.6 kilograms of dried cannabis 
  • Four imitation firearms 
  • Three knives 
  • Two masks 
  • Composite brass knuckles 

“I am proud of the work Strike Force has done in gathering intelligence and building evidence in order to make an arrest,” says Chief Del Manak. “This is not an easy task when we are on the outside looking in at schools, but our team is dedicated to taking action on gang activity. This is just one person of many who have been observed, and our message to those who are targeting our youth is ‘You are not welcome in our communities, you are not welcome in our schools. We see you, we are watching you, and we are coming for you.’” 

Mia Golden, a counselor and one-half of Victoria’s two-person Mobile Youth Services Team, says gangs are targeting young people more aggressively in recent years. 

“We have seen an aggressive shift in recruitment over the last year,” says Golden. “Now, gang members are targeting students in school as young as middle school, who are being groomed and recruited through selling products like vapes, designer clothing, or drugs.” Once the connection has been made, the youth are often tasked with selling the products and threatened if they do not comply.”

This investigation is ongoing, and further details are not available at this time. 

Images of seized products released by Victoria PD showed weapons and nicotine and cannabis products, including the brand “Astro Quads.”

During a press conference, Victoria Police Chief Manak said this is an ongoing investigation, and measures were taken due to concerns with this specific individual’s actions, including reference to waving a (replica) gun. The person is no longer in custody.