Abbotsford Police Unintentionally Reveal Prohibition’s Flaws


A two-day crackdown in Abbotsford’s downtown core has resulted in the arrests of seven males and one female with ties to the Red Scorpions.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said more arrests are expected in the coming days.

Beat and bike squads spent Wednesday and Thursday targeting drug lines and dealers – mainly involved in dial-a-dope operations – downtown and in the areas near Ravine Park and Abbotsford Collegiate.

Seized were quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana, as well as cash, cellphones and knives. MacDonald said the exact amounts were still being determined as of this morning.

Police are not yet releasing names of those arrested, but they were mainly in their late teens to early 20s. The oldest was 61.

MacDonald said the majority had links that clearly trace back to the Red Scorpions, dispelling the myth that street-level drugs are sold by “mom and pop” operations.

“If you’re buying drugs, you’re buying from organized crime,” he said.

Some of the arrested were still in high school or of high school age, and many of the drug deals took place on or near school grounds.

“Drugs are being sold in high school, so who has to sell it to them?” MacDonald said. “There’s a myth that there’s a guy in a trench coat selling drugs outside of the high school, but that’s not the case.”

He said the fact that a female was among those arrested shows that gangs have stepped up their efforts in finding their “foot soldiers.”

“It’s not always easy to be a Red Scorpion or a United Gang member, so they have to actively work to recruit.”

MacDonald said it’s difficult to determine how much of an impact recent arrests of gang members are having on the groups’ operations.

“What we ( police ) are hoping to do is be disruptive … and, in essence, continue our messaging – that if you’re going to be a gangster in Abbotsford, we’re going to make your life miserable.”

MacDonald said information garnered from these arrests is being used in future investigations and projects.

“The advantage for us is … we can follow the food chain ( of the gangs ),” he said.

I wonder if Officer MacDonald understands just how revealing his comments are? Let’s review. Police arrest a lot of street level drug dealers in Abbotsford. Some apparently have ties to the Red Scorpions, an alleged criminal organization. Police crow about it in the news, but comments reveal:

1. Police operations rarely target high-level criminals, concentrating instead on the low-hanging-fruit of street dealers;
2. Gangs use the profits you can make from prohibition to recruit young people into a life of crime;
3. There are no shadowy pushermen stalking schoolyards and handing out drugs to kids – most school drug sellers are kids, in the school, selling to people they know;
4. Police don’t really believe their arrests have an impact on the gangs. The point, instead, seems to be “sending messages” about how your life might be “miserable” if you get busted in Abbotsford;

So a two day operation involving the arrest of a bunch of primarily young people will result in essentially no progress in reducing drug demand, drug supply or the recruitment of young people into gangs. Indeed, it will probably increase such recruitment because now the gangs need new people to work the corners. And if any of the people busted go to jail, their links to the gangs will solidify and they will learn how to be better criminals when they are released. Since upon release they will be convicts, a life of continued crime is probably one of their only options.

How on earth is this anything but tragic? If you support drug prohibition, you support teenage drug dealing, teenage recruitment into gangs and the constant growth in the power and economic influence of organized crime. And in my book, you should be ashamed. We must end this madness for the sake of all Canadians but, primarily, to protect our youth from the dangers of prohibition.



  1. Anonymous on

    If Harper really wanted to take a hit at the organized crime part of the drug trade in Canada all he has to do is legalize marijuana. License fees and taxes would generate a positive cash flow and create 1000’s of new jobs and put the regulation and control in the hands of responsible people who will not involve our youth! Bill C-15 may be going pass in Parliament but the laws will still be tested in our courts. A slow, lengthy and expensive process for the both the defendants and the crown! Harper and crew insist marijuana is just as bad as cocaine and heroin? Members of organized crime syndicates is one thing, but if two guys growing enough pot for personal use results in the same sentence as the former, you see where I am going! Surely a Judge of his right mind would call this unconstitutional? There is one answer, everyone that is eligible to vote and did not vote in the last election, just come out and vote against the Conservatives? That will do it. There is no conspiracy theory here? As long Harper’s definition of organized crime is not voting against him?

  2. renney b. on

    police arrested more kids in their never ending work of showing politicians that they are doing their jobs in fighting organized crime. keep the wheels of justice turning and fill the jails with youths and destroy their future as free citizens of a civilize society. they still cant see their failure and stop the war on young people, most of whom are just experimenting with drugs. how many did they arrest for priscription drugs, alcohol and tobacco. as the good dr. bob said, we should be arresting them for not consuming cannabis; all of those so called backwards looking people. they are just maintaining the old failed system of drug prohibition… for us forward looking people the new dawn of legalization is brighter as all this shame and abuse continues to come to light. as the reggae artist raps, ‘we want legalization, decriminalization, emancipation for all those sentenced to incarceration for participation with the healing of the nation (cannabis)…’ the time has come for police and politicians to change this bad prohibition drug laws… non-violent offenders should be their least priority and tell us how much rapists, murderers and thieves they throw in jail… education is the key not punishment, keep the kids in school and teach them the truth about all drugs and our failed drug policies… let them help to rewrite our laws through conscious debate and respect for their natural environment… peace, love and fyah…