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Seven arrested in trio of local drug busts

Three BC men arrested Monday

To use a sports analogy, the Estevan Police Service is on one heck of a hot streak.In a seven day-span, EPS officers made three separate drug busts which resulted in seven arrests and the seizure of over $100,000 worth of narcotics and cash.EPS Chief Del Block said all of the arrests were the result of lengthy investigations and that he and his officers are obviously very happy with the results."I'm very pleased and I think the members are very pumped about the excellent work that has gone on," said Block. "It's a reflection of the work that is taking place and the investigation that the members are putting into this and working as a team."The first of the three arrests happened August 23 when Slawomir Bielawski, 21, and Estevan resident Carly Selk, 19, were arrested and each charged with one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and one count of trafficking cocaine. According to information from the EPS, officers seized a supply of drugs with a street value of $38,000 in the bust.Both made their first court appearance on Thursday. Selk was released from custody on a number of conditions including abiding by a curfew and not having any contact with Bielawski who is a native of Surrey, B.C. She must be in court for her next appearance on Sept. 27Meanwhile, a show-cause hearing was held for Bielawski Thursday but was adjourned until Monday when it was decided that he would remain in custody. His next court appearance is on Sept. 9. Further details from the hearing cannot be published due to a publication ban.The next bust took place August 25 when two more people - Brenda Remlinger, 36 and Phillip Mullins, 32 - were arrested at the Estevan Trailer Court after EPS officers executed a search warrant pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and seized drugs and cash worth over $60,000.Remlinger, an Estevan resident, has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine and possession of the proceeds of crime. She was released on her own recognizance Thursday and must also abide by a number of strict conditions. Mullins, who is apparently new to Estevan, was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking crack cocaine, possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and possession of the proceeds of crime. He will remain in custody and is scheduled to make his court appearance Sept. 13The final bust happened Monday when three men, all from Surrey, B.C., were arrested by EPS officers. Cocaine with an estimated street value of $13,600 was seized along with $4,700 in cash.Corey William Johnson, 21, Dax Gabriel Alexander Mortimer, 36, and Robert Joshua Achadinha, 26, have all been charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime. One of the males is also facing a charge of possession of marijuana while another was charged with mischief. All three were in court Tuesday for a show-cause hearing but the results of those proceedings were not available before press time.Block noted that although the investigation is ongoing, the EPS believes the majority of the people arrested are connected."The people keep changing so that is why you are seeing different people being charged," he said. "It appears that they keep rotating different people into town to look after the sales. They are all coming from the same area in B.C. We can't say for 100 per cent that it is all one group, but there definitely appears to some connection within the people that are being charged. There have been a couple of locals but I think they have been kind of pulled in by the B.C. group. There is no doubt we still have our local traffickers, but these guys are moving large amounts of product here in the city."While a substantial amount of cocaine was seized in the three busts, Block noted that crack cocaine, a drug that is apparently growing in popularity in Estevan, was also seized."There seems to be a bigger demand for crack cocaine than the powder, although there is a definite demand for the powder. Lately we seem to be seizing more of the crack cocaine."We haven't made any seizures but we understand there is heroin on the streets in Estevan and that creates a whole other concern for police. If it is true that we have people in this city that are stooping to purchasing and using heroin, we might as well brace ourselves for a whole new crime wave in the city. Along with heroin comes violence they will do anything to support their habits including bigger thefts and robberies. And if there is heroin, there will be deaths, overdoses."Block said while the EPS will continue to fight against the drug trade and hopes to nip any potential heroin problem in the bud, he added that residents also have a role to play in the battle."If the public is noticing anything they think may be drug activity, call us," he said. "So often after the fact we have people say 'we knew they were doing that,' or 'we thought that because there has been traffic coming and going.' We find all the time that the people know what is going on, they just don't call, whether they are afraid or just don't want to get involved, but we will keep them anonymous."We really do need the public on our side. There is the old saying, the police are the public and the public are the police."Block added that although they may have put a dent in the local drug trade, the EPS is well aware they have not stopped it. He said they will continue to investigate and noted that more resources would be helpful in their work."I would like to get at least one more full-time investigator. We are growing to the point where we need it and there is such a need for more investigators. The work is definitely there if we have the manpower to put into it."