Saanich man arrested after police seize $350K in drugs in coordinated bust
Published Tuesday, December 17, 2019 12:29PM PST Last Updated Wednesday, December 18, 2019 9:10AM PST
Police say that Jason Van Winkle, 44, had approximately $350,000 worth of illicit drugs in his Saanich home: (Facebook)
VICTORIA -- A 44-year-old Saanich man was arrested Thursday after officers from both the Saanich and Victoria police departments located more than three kilograms of drugs and tens of thousands of dollars in cash and stolen property.
On Dec. 12, Saanich police say that officers gathered information on a Saanich resident who was believed to be trafficking drugs. With assistance from the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Unit, Victoria police located Van Winkle on the same day driving in the 600-block of Esquimalt Road in Vic West and arrested him.
Inside the vehicle, police say they discovered cash, multiple cell phones and drugs that were individually packaged and "ready for sale on the street."
Following the arrest, Saanich police then executed a search warrant on the man's home in the 4000-block of Cavallin Court. Inside, officers found over three kilograms of drugs, which police estimate to have a street value of $350,000, as well as more than $40,000 in cash and approximately $25,000 worth of stolen property.
Police also seized two replica firearms, multiple batons and a 2019 Jeep Cherokee, which is being recommended for forfeiture.
Saanich police believe the three kilograms of drugs include fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.
"These are large quantities of drugs that were destined for the streets of Greater Victoria," said Saanich police spokesperson Const. Markus Anastasiades. "As we know, these types of drugs have been responsible for an epidemic of overdose deaths in the region, and we can only hope that this significant drug seizure will help save some lives."
Jason Van Winkle has been charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and failure to comply with previous conditions. Police say he is well-known to the department and has an extensive history of drug trafficking and other offenses.
He is set to appear in provincial court again later this week.