3 Albertans charged in Yellowknife drug bust

Three men from Alberta have been charged with trafficking crack cocaine and marijuana in Yellowknife, following an RCMP bust in the N.W.T. capital's downtown this week.

Three Alberta men have been charged in Yellowknife with trafficking in crack cocaine and marijuana, following an RCMP bust in the N.W.T. capital's downtown this week.

Yellowknife RCMP announced Friday that officers seized about 3½ kilograms of marijuana, one kilogram of crack cocaine, money and a firearm from three downtown homes that they searched Monday night.

Police arrested Mohamed Jomha, 31, Ali Ashraf, 22, and Adrian Graves, 28, in relation to Monday's bust. Police say the three accused are from Edmonton and Cold Lake, Alta.

Each has been charged with one count of trafficking in narcotics, two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking narcotics, and one count of possession of the proceeds of crime.

RCMP said the drugs they seized amount to about 9,000 hits of crack cocaine and 18,000 marijuana cigarettes.

The seizures and arrests were made as part of an operation dubbed Project Germaine.

Police would not give details of the operation, nor would they say how long the three men had been targeted prior to Monday's bust, nor whether a tip had sparked an investigation.

'It's now not available'

But Sgt. Wayne Norris said that in the end, the bust will make an impact on Yellowknife's drug trade.

"Suffice it to say that 18,000 marijuana cigarettes is likely going to have an impact in regards to people that want to use illicit drugs," he told reporters on Friday.

"It's now not available to them, and I think that is a significant amount."

Norris also would not speculate on the amount of drug activity in Yellowknife.

Drug activity in Yellowknife has been hit by some past investigations, such as Operation Gunship, an 18-month RCMP investigation that led to a dozen arrests in 2005.

However, observers have said drug activity would eventually resurface, as long as there is a demand for drugs in northern communities.