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Investigation into jail guards expected soon

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 30/05) - An internal Justice Department probe into two jail guards suspended last month should be completed in mid-December, a spokesperson said Monday.

The department, however, has released few details about the investigation and refused to say whether the suspensions were related to Operation Gunship, an RCMP crackdown on the illegal crack-cocaine trade in the capital.

Those raids, which targeted three Yellowknife businesses and several homes, were conducted on Oct. 13 and resulted in 31 arrests and charges against 11 suspects.

The guards, who worked at the North Slave Correction Centre, were suspended in mid-December, Bronwyn Watters, assistant deputy minister in the territorial Justice department, said earlier this month.

Another Justice department spokesperson categorized the probe as a "labour relations matter" and declined to comment on its specifics. It's not known if the report will be made public.

RCMP Cpl. Larry O'Brien, who headed Operation Gunship, said the police were not investigating the officers in relation to their suspension.

He declined to comment on whether police were looking into the appearance of drugs in the jail.

"I can't speak about the investigation unless we charge people," O'Brien said.