Man faces drug charge
Raid nets $12,000 worth of cocaine

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Iqaluit ( May 29/00) - A man faces a charge of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking following a raid Wednesday.

RCMP found about $12,000 worth of cocaine at an Apex residence and laid the charge against the occupant. The man has been released from custody and will make his first appearance in Iqaluit territorial court on July 31.

Cpl. Jim Christensen of the Iqaluit RCMP said the raid occurred as the result of a tip, and he said cocaine use in the Iqaluit area is rising.

"The increase in the last year is a very significant increase," Christensen said, "just based on police experience, seizures that we've had, and just talking to people, general information."

Christensen said more people are using cocaine and that it's creating "a serious situation" in the area.

"Cocaine is an addictive drug. And there's much more of an expense that goes with it," he said. "That's not to minimize the problem of softer drugs."

Christensen noted the use of softer drugs seems to be steady. He said the current street price for cocaine is about $200 per gram.

"It's pretty well a steady price. You don't get a true gram, you get what's called a street gram."

A street gram ranges from .7 to .8 grams.

"That's going to fluctuate a little bit with supply and demand, but usually it's $200."

Christensen noted the RCMP are always looking for the public's help.

"If they see anything suspicious, or they know anything, they can go the Crime Stoppers route, or they can call this office with confidentiality. We're certainly going to look at the information and do our best."