Hay River woman arrested in slo-pitch drug bust pleads guilty to trafficking

A Hay River slo-pitch tournament provided cover for a covert 2017 drug bust, heard Northwest Territories Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Operation Grand Slam saw police go undercover to disrupt Hay River ‘drug network’ during 2017 tournament

Starr Martel, from Hay River, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to trafficking drugs after she was scooped up in RCMP's Operation Grand Slam last year. (CBC)

A Hay River slo-pitch tournament provided cover for a covert 2017 drug bust, the Northwest Territories Supreme Court heard Tuesday.

The RCMP investigation, called "Operation Grand Slam," unfolded in Hay River, N.W.T., between Aug. 4 to 7 and was meant to coincide with the Coors slo-pitch tournament, Crown prosecutor Duane Praught said.

The sting resulted in 11 arrests and at least nine people charged, including six from Hay River.

Starr Martel, 25, was one of those charged.

On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to trafficking a schedule one substance.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Praught said an undercover officer met Martel at a dance during the tournament.

The officer asked Martel if she could get him a gram of cocaine, and she told him she could.

Sitting together at table near the dance floor, the officer gave Martel $80 and she gave him the drugs.

Martel wasn't arrested on the spot. She was picked up later on, while in a vehicle on Aug. 7. Cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia were seized at the same time.

According to an RCMP news release from August 2017, police carried out five search warrants on homes in Hay River as part of Operation Grand Slam.

They seized cocaine, morphine, GHB, codeine, cash and a butterfly knife.

RCMP Sgt. Dean Riou stated at the time that police were pleased they were able to "interrupt this illegal drug network" in Hay River.