Over the next several weeks, the Merritt Herald will be printing the stories from the local RCMP detachment’s different departments and their involvement in the drug trade. The first instalment is an introductory piece to the series, which will illustrate the impact of drugs on the detachment and the community as a whole.

Drug abuse has both subtle and tragic consequences for youth, adults, families and entire communities. Over the course of the next several weeks, with the assistance of the Merritt Herald, we would like to take the opportunity to fully illustrate this fact.

Through television shows and news media, most people are aware that organized crime exists in society. What is less commonly known is that organized crime groups are involved in every aspect of illicit drug activity. Something that is even less commonly known is that organized crime has roots in Merritt, just the same as in any other city or town in B.C.

Organized crime is loosely defined as any group or organization whose primary purpose is to profit from criminal behavior. Historically, groups such as the Mafia and outlaw motorcycle gangs have been highly publicized examples of organized crime groups. Both of those entities still exist and have been joined by numerous other groups representative of ethnic origins, areas of residence and other affiliations. The profits from the drug trade are their number 1 source of income and responsible for the funding of their other criminal enterprises. Each of these enterprises has an effect on all of us, as each supports such crimes as financial fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting, and even terrorism.

The drug trade has a far-reaching impact beyond what the average citizen may know, and it poses numerous dangers that put the entire community at risk. Throughout this series of articles, we hope to provide you with a better education surrounding the drug trade, and how it affects our society as a whole, Merritt as a city, and you as an individual.