One man is in custody after Yellowknife RCMP say they seized over 2,900 baggies of crack cocaine, along with cash, following a search at a city home last week – the culmination of a six-month-long investigation into suspected drug trafficking in the capital.
Noel Tesfazion, 30, of Yellowknife and Toronto has been charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime, according to a news release issued Monday.
On May 9, members of the RCMP’s federal investigations unit arrested him in the parking lot of a local business.
At the same time, Mounties executed a search warrant at his Range Lake-area apartment unit.
Inside, police say they found nearly 3,000 pre-packaged baggies filled with crack cocaine. RCMP seized an additional 157 grams of cocaine, along with $1,600 in cash, stated police.
The arrest and search was the result of an investigation launched by RCMP in December 2018.
“We are pleased to remove these drugs from the distribution chain in the NWT, and hold accountable those individuals who wish to harm our communities,” stated Sgt. Dean Riou of the RCMP in Monday’s news release.
“This investigation and seizure once again resonates the need to quell the strong demand for crack cocaine in the Northwest Territories,” added Riou.
Justice of the Peace Ian McCrae ordered the release of Tesfazion on a recognizance Tuesday afternoon following a bail hearing Monday.
A court-ordered ban prevents the publication of any evidence heard during the hearing.
Tesfazion will be bound by conditions during his pretrial release. The matter will be spoken to again in July in NWT territorial court.