Surrey North Delta Leader - Student tipsters shut down crack shack

The weather-beaten one-storey house with the faded blue siding and security cameras was located near two Surrey schools – a few blocks from Sullivan Heights Secondary and right beside Cambridge Elementary.

Some students were suspicious.

In early March, they told school authorities, who alerted the school liaison officer, who called in the drug squad.

During their very first day of surveillance, drug squad officers could see the windows and door of the ramshackle house at 14953 60 Ave. had been reinforced.

They also saw two teenagers entering the house. The 14-year-old and 16-year-old left a few minutes after they entered.

Police stopped them and found one was carrying a small bag of marijuana.

That was enough for a search warrant.

When Mounties raided the house, they caught a 19-year-old male and 18-year-old female with a supply of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. The two suspects are facing a variety of drug-related charges.

There were also signs the occupants were manufacturing crack cocaine on the premises.

The house has since been declared uninhabitable by City of Surrey bylaw enforcement officers.

It’s now boarded up with a municipal warning notice taped to the front.

At a Wednesday media briefing at the Sullivan Heights school, RCMP Sgt. Roger Morrow said police, students, school authorities and municipal enforcement staff all worked together to shut down the crack shack.

“We’re coming at the drug problem from all sorts of angles,” Morrow said.

School district spokesman Doug Strachan said a number of students reported the suspicious activity at the house to the school principal and vice-principal.

“The school is quite proud of these students,” Strachan said, adding the arrests should send a message to people who think they can set up a drug house in the vicinity of a school.

One tip was made online to the Protecting Surrey Schools Together website at http://www.psst-bc.ca using the “report-it” form that allows students to make anonymous tips about bullying, threats of violence and vandalism. Students do not have to provide their names.

“We’re seeing increasing use of the website” said Theresa Campbell, Surrey school district safe schools manager, “increased access just to visit as well increased anonymous reports on a variety of activities.”

The site was created by the Surrey School District in partnership with the Surrey RCMP.

dferguson@surreyleader.com

Date: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
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