Kopper King trailer occupants face temporary eviction following SCAN investigation

Investigators say that drug trafficking is occurring at the trailer

The Yukon’s director of public safety and investigations, who works within the territory’s justice department, is seeking a court order to have everyone vacate a Kopper King trailer for 90 days over alleged drug trafficking activity.

In a petition filed to the Yukon Supreme Court Feb. 8, the director, who is not explicitly named within the document, requests an order under the territory’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act that would require Arielle Courtney Lee, the owner of a trailer on Prospector Road, and all other occupants to leave the property within seven days.

If granted, the order would see the trailer closed off for 90 days, during which Lee would be the only person with access to the property, but only with the director’s permission and only for “the purposes of maintaining or repairing” the trailer.

Lee, who is believed to reside primarily in Yellowknife and rents the trailer to another person, would also be required to pay the Yukon government “any reasonable costs” related to closing her trailer or keeping it closed.

According to the petition as well as several associated affidavits, the request for the order is the result of a six-month long investigation by the territory’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit.

The investigation was triggered by several complaints from at least two individuals, who, beginning in July 2017, began reporting that they were seeing alleged drug trafficking activity at Lee’s trailer.

The SCAN unit began a formal investigation in July 2018 after one of the complainants alleged that two trailers in the trailer park “were dealing hard drugs like crack-cocaine,” according to affidavits by investigators Kurt Bringsli and Drew Horbachewsky.

The complainant also reported “vehicle and foot traffic all day and night to and from the units for very short visits,” the affidavits say.

On November 2018, another complainant reported that “drug activity had increased significantly in the past weeks,” with numerous vehicles coming and going from Lee’s trailer — specifically, a blue Honda Civic with B.C. plates, an SUV with B.C. plates, a silver Nissan Murano and a red truck and black truck.

That complainant also reported that the alleged drug activity “seems to go in cycles and be busy for a few weeks and slow down for awhile,” and also alleged that Lee, “was making methamphetamines with under the sink products and selling them for $20 each.”

According to Bringsli’s affidavit, the SCAN unit monitored the property using “living and video surveillance techniques” from July 2018 to January 2019, during which investigators found “high volume, short duration” visits to the trailer, vehicle traffic coming to the trailer from “all over Whitehorse,” the use of “Law Enforcement Evasion Techniques,” including switching vehicles and heat checks, and “the presence of known drug offenders at the property, ” including the tenant renting the trailer.

Both Bringsli and Horbachewsky’s affidavits say that, based on the investigation, they believe drug trafficking is occuring at the property and is having an “adverse effect” on the neighbourhood, in which many families live.

The case is set to be heard in court on March 6.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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