UPDATE: Two Surrey arrests in gang violence investigations

SURREY — More than 50 police officers armed with search warrants raided four homes in Surrey and Langley on Thursday, resulting in the arrests of two men and the seizure of illegal drugs and a large amount of cash.

The raids were in response to recent gang-related violence in Surrey and North Delta, Delta Police Sgt. Sarah Swallow said.

There have been 29 shootings locally since the beginning of March and police believe many are linked to a drug turf war between South Asian and Somali gangs.

Police have not released the names of the two men arrested. They are expected to appear in Surrey provincial court today (Friday).

The arrests resulted from a Delta Police investigation, Swallow said. She wouldn’t reveal in which communities the arrests were made, but one was in Guildford.

Delta Police, Surrey RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit participated in the raids.

Meanwhile, on May 27 the Surrey RCMP’s drug section with the help of Surrey’s Gang Enforcement Team and other police agencies executed three search warrants at multiple residences in the 107700-block of University Drive in Surrey and seized bulk marijuana, cocaine, two prohibited firearms, ammo, and several thousand dollars in cash.

"The residences are believed to be associated to one of the two rival groups involved in the series of shootings," Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr said. "The firearms and ammunition are being forensically examined to determine if there are any links to the shooting incidents."

Two vehicles were also seized.

Carr said that since April 1st police have seized more than 40 weapons – guns, knives, pepperspray and other prohibited weapons, 34 vehicles and more than $25,000 in cash.

"There have been a significant number of arrests with over 73 charges recommended," Carr said. "This joint enforcement action is intended to destabilize the groups involved in the shootings and significantly impact their trafficking operations. The sustained pressure by our enforcement teams is having a direct impact on the illegal activities of the groups involved in this ongoing conflict. By swiftly removing these individuals and the tools of the trade off our streets, we believe we can put a stop to this unacceptable behaviour."

Carr said there have been 169 calls to the tip line the police set up in an effort to arrest and charge the shooters. It is 604-915-6566.

In Ottawa, Surrey North New Democrat MP Jasbir Sandhu accused the Tory government of "stalling" in its recent promise to send 100 more Mounties to Surrey to fight gang violence here.

"Every week brings more shootings and more fear in our community," Sandhu said. "People should not have to live in fear. With no description of where the money will come from, no timeline and no tangible steps for implementation, this seems like another empty campaign promise.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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