Huge drug seizure at Bowden Institution
Almost $500,000 of illicit drugs discovered
Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 06:00 am
Dan Spiller, assistant warden of management services at Bowden Institution
BOWDEN – Almost a half million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs, including methamphetamine, have been seized inside Bowden Institution.
Prison officials said in a media release issued on Nov. 24 that the seizure 10 days earlier was the result of the combined efforts of correctional officers, the detector-dog team and security intelligence officers.
The release said the drugs, which also included THC -- the main mind-altering ingredient found in the cannabis plant, were found in multiple packages in the yard of the medium security unit at Bowden Institution.
The value of the seizure is estimated at $495,320.
Dan Spiller, the prison’s assistant warden of management services, said in a follow-up interview that institution staff could not release further information on how and exactly where the drugs were found inside the prison grounds, other than by staff and in the yard.
“We are not allowed to divulge anything further at this time because officially the wording would be the investigation determining the means of introduction of these drugs and the originating source is ongoing,” said Spiller, adding Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is spearheading the investigation into the seizure.
“It would be standard protocol,” he said when asked whether CSC resources are being increased for the probe. “I can’t elaborate any further on what means we are using.”
Spiller said no charges have been laid at this time, and operations at the prison are normal.
As for the “significant” amount and value of the drugs, Spiller could not say whether it was an unprecedented seizure at the institution or any other in Canada.
“Certainly this is a significant seizure, but I can’t validate where it ranks amongst past seizures at other CSC sites across Canada,” said Spiller.
The media release noted CSC is “heightening” measures to prevent contraband from entering its institutions in order to help ensure a safe and secure environment for staff and inmates. But Spiller would not elaborate on whether increased measures are now being made as a result of the methamphetamine and THC seizure.
“We can’t comment anything further on that until we are done the investigation, but we do have a number of tools to prevent the flow of drugs into our institutions,” said Spiller. He added those include intelligence investigations and searches of offenders, visitors, buildings and cells by using non-intrusive search tools, including ion scanners and drug-detector dogs.
“We’re continually striving to improve our means at all times,” said Spiller.
In the meantime, Spiller added the flow of visitors and goods into the prison has remained normal.