REGINA - Police in Regina say they've dealt a blow to the city's illegal drug trade.
Seven people from four provinces have been charged with conspiracy to traffic in the prescription drugs Talwin and Ritalin. The charges were laid following a year-long undercover investigation.
Most of the drugs were destined for Regina's inner city.
"Talwin and ritalin as a drug of choice or the use of it, is somewhat specific to Regina and a few other limited western Canadian cities: Winnipeg and Edmonton in particular, and Saskatoon," says Regina police chief Cal Johnston.
"It's a significant problem here," he adds.
Six other people from Regina are charged with drug offences, and more arrests are coming. Police say they expect to lay a total of 200 charges against 35 people.
Talwin and Ritalin mixed together is a peculiarly Regina drug, called "Poor Man's Heroin". In Saskatoon, addicts do not mix the two. Ritalin is regularly injected by a large number of addicts who buy it on the street. Many of the prescriptions are obtained from the methadone clinic run by Dr. Brian Fern. The clinic's main liaison with the police for many years has been Brian Dueck. Operators of the clinic state that it is not possible to inject Ritalin because the drug companies are making it in "uninjectible" form. The truth is that this only makes the drug more dangerous for the addicts.
REGINA -- Trent Stevely, a constable with the Regina Police Service who has fired last year after allegations were made that he had assaulted a member of the public, has won his fight to get his job back.
Stevely, who successfully appealed to the Saskatchewan Police Commission to be reinstated with the Regina Police Service, is expected to meet with police Chief Cal Johnston later this week to discuss his re-integration into the police service.
Sgt. Richard Bourassa, who acted as spokesperson for the police service Monday because Johnston was unavailable for comment, said a ruling was received Friday indicating Stevely had won his appeal to have his job restored.
The police department "accepts that decision," and will not be appealing any further, Bourassa said.
He said the ruling by the Saskatchewan Police Commission "was not an exoneration of all aspects," of Stevely's behaviour.
"There have been consequences attached," Bourassa added.
"But dismissal is not one of the consequences," he added.
Earlier this year, on Jan. 26, a jury acquitted Stevely of an assault charge which stemmed from a July 23, 1999 incident involving Stevely and a man (Laurent Huel) who was arrested at a scene of a traffic accident and was spitting at police officers.
Stevely, a six-year veteran of the police service, was temporarily suspended from his job in June last year and he was fired by Johnston in October 2000, following an internal performance review.
Discussion about whether Stevely would get his job back continued, even after he was acquitted in the criminal trial.
During that trial, Stevely admitted to striking Huel twice on the head while he was laying handcuffed on the ground. But his lawyer argued successfully that Stevely had the right to use reasonable force to subdue Huel and to get him to stop spitting at police.
Bourassa said a disciplinary process for two police sergeants who are accused of covering up for Stevely remains in progress.