The Yukon RCMP is acknowledging the importance of last week’s successful raid on a Takhini Hot Springs road property that led to both an arrest relating to an attempted murder investigation and the seizure of a large quantity of drugs, cash and guns.
Police raided the property and arrested Taylor Duke on the morning of Aug. 24. Duke appeared in court on the day of his arrest, charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle and disobeying a court order as well as attempted murder with a firearm relating to a July 10 shooting on Long Lake Road in Whitehorse.
On Aug. 30, the RCMP displayed the spoils of the Aug. 24 raid: $163,887 in cash, 11 firearms and a quantity of drugs. Yukon RCMP superintendent Lindsay Ellis, who spoke with reporters on Aug. 30, referred to the seizure as “exceptionally large and significant.”
The firearms seized included two pistols, two shotguns, three AR-15-style rifles and an Uzi submachinegun fitted with a sound suppressor. Ellis said the source of the firearms is under investigation. Even those guns that might otherwise be legally possessed are illegal for Duke, as he was bound by a court order barring him from owning firearms.
The drugs seized in the raid included 663 Xanax tablets, approximately 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 127.21 grams of fentanyl, 636.65 grams of heroin, 7.38 grams of methamphetamine, as well as more than 300 unknown capsules and more than 500 grams of an unknown powder that police believe is phenacetin, a common cutting agent used in the cocaine trade.
While noting that the street value of the confiscated drugs is fluid and difficult to define, Ellis provided the approximate number of doses that were seized in the raid: 663 doses of Xanax, 5,073 of cocaine, 318 of fentanyl and 6,366 of heroin.
Ellis also spoke about the circumstances of the Hot Springs Road raid, which she told reporters involved 20 to 30 officers, including locally based personnel and Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) from the Northwest Territories and Alberta.
“The drugs and firearms seized through this investigation represent a significant disruption to drug trafficking and potential violence in our territory. While investigations continue, we expect to see Duke charged with further offences and will update media and the public as we can,” Ellis said.
Ellis noted the charges against Duke that had been outstanding prior to his arrest on Aug. 24 included organized crime-related offences. He had been unlawfully at large since missing a court date in December 2022. The Superintendent said that everyone involved in the drug trade past a certain level is involved with organized crime but would not comment on the ties between Duke and criminal networks outside the Yukon as the investigation is ongoing.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org