Saskatchewan

Estevan police worried about young people trafficking cocaine

Police in Estevan, Sask., say they're concerned more young people getting into the cocaine trade and possibly selling drugs in schools.

5 teens among latest group charged with drug-related offences

Estevan police have young cocaine traffickers on their radar. (CBC)

Police in Estevan, Sask., say they're concerned more young people getting into the cocaine trade and possibly selling drugs in schools. 

The city's new drug and intelligence unit recently made 13 arrests and laid 44 charges with respect to alleged drug trafficking. Among the group charged were a number of men from B.C. in their 20s and 30s, but also five local teenagers ages 19, 18, 17, 16 and 16.

About $100,000 worth of cocaine, plus other drugs and $20,000 in cash, were seized.

Estevan police Chief Paul Ladoucer is concerned about younger people selling drugs.

​"We're seeing the age not only of users but also the traffickers going down and down," he said. "Kids are selling to kids — people they know."

Police are not sure to what extent this is happening in the schools or how many youths are involved.

Undercover officers used

Cocaine has long been a problem in Estevan, an oil patch city where, during boom times, some people have money to burn.

Even during downturns, which is currently the case, some people are addicted to coke, so the brisk trade continues, Ladoucer said.

He wants the word to get out to drug dealers and users that police are making use of undercover officers. Some might be just collecting intelligence, while others are buying.

"That person you may choose to sell to ... might be a police officer," he warned.

With files from CBC Radio's Morning Edition