The Eeyou Eenou Police Force’s efforts to curb drug and alcohol trafficking in Cree communities saw success this spring, as officers apprehended a handful of suspects in possession of almost $25,000 of illicit substances.

The first of the busts occurred March 31, when an officer in Whapmagoostui stopped a man carrying a box. A quick search revealed the contents to be marijuana with a street value of $4,500.

The second occurred in Chisasibi, on April 6, where a 55-year old man and his 49-year-old wife were arrested with over 200 grams of cannabis and hashish, street value around $9,000.

The coup de grace, however, happened just weeks ago, on May 2 in Wemindji. After receiving a search warrant for a vehicle of interest – suspected to be importing drugs into the community – the Wemindji Detachment of the EEPF uncovered $14,500 worth of drugs.

The suspects were detained and, and after evidential review, charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine and marijuana. They lack previous criminal records, so were released from incarceration under strict conditions, but are due to appear in court shortly.

“The [EEPF] will not stand by and allow drug and alcohol traffickers to take over the social wellness of our people,” said Police Director Reggie Bobbish in a statement to the community. “We have set our tactical approach, focus and aim, on disabling trafficking networks and dismantling organized crime throughout Eeyou Istchee.”