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Routine traffic stop leads police to drug arrests

Police Briefs: Local officers recognized for getting impaired drivers off the road

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What began as a routine traffic stop ended in a pair of drug arrests for Whistler RCMP last week.

At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, an officer on patrol observed a vehicle making a left turn onto Highway 99 from Whistler Road without stopping at a stop sign. After smelling “a strong odour of fresh marijuana” emanating from the vehicle, police said, the officer arrested both occupants.

A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered “a substantial amount” of fresh marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and cash, according to a release.

The suspects, a 24-year-old man and a 26-year-old man, both from Whistler, were detained and eventually released with a promise to appear in North Vancouver court on Oct. 17. They face potential charges of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Five local RCMP officers named to Alexa’s Team

Five Sea to Sky officers have been named to Alexa’s Team, an annual program to recognize RCMP members throughout B.C. who have gone above and beyond in reducing the number of impaired drivers.

From the Whistler RCMP, Const. Besnik Adzijaj, Const. Farhad Sayyah, and Const. Mike Zwicker were named to the 2017 team; Zwicker was singled out as an Alexa’s Team “all star,” given to officers who have taken at least 34 criminally impaired drivers off the road. Const. Timothy Pierotti, of the Whistler Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, and Const. Spencer Vadermeer of the Pemberton RCMP also made the team.

In all, the five local Alexa’s Team members were responsible for removing 184 impaired drivers last year. Since the Alexa’s Team was launched a decade ago, more than 86,500 impaired drivers have been taken off of B.C.’s roads.

Alexa’s Team was formed in 2008 after four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed by an impaired driver in Delta.

“As we reflect on the 10 years since Alexa’s life was taken, as a family we were hoping to find some good in the wake of her tragic loss,” said Alexa’s mother, Laurel Middelaer, in a release. “Alexa’s Team is a shining example of that goodness, and of what can be accomplished when likeminded people band together to honour a young life.”

Enforcement continued on the Sea to Sky’s roads over the past week, with three 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions; one seven-day prohibition; two three-day prohibitions; and three 24-hour suspensions issued. Police also laid one impaired driving charge, and another for driving while prohibited, in the past week.

“Traffic safety remains a Detachment Priority and those who choose to drink or use drugs and drive can expect no leniency,” said Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes in a release.

Whistler RCMP is now on Twitter

The Whistler RCMP has officially joined the social-media age.

For the first time, the detachment is active on Twitter, under two accounts, one in each official national language. They can be found at @WhistlerRCMP and @GRCdeWhistler, respectively.

Now who’s going to tell police that Twitter is sooo 2012?

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