A 51-year-old Canadian man was arrested in British Columbia for opening a mobile shop to sell cocaine, heroin and other dangerous substances. According to the BBC, the man identified as Jerry Martin was arrested on Thursday, a day after he opened his store. Vancouver police said that it arrested Mr Martin for “drug trafficking in connection with an illicit drug dispensary” but have not laid formal charges.
As per the outlet, Mr Martin started selling the drugs on Wednesday out of a mobile trailer parked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His store offered adults the opportunity to purchase illegal drugs by showing their ID cards.
Mr Martin said he opened his mobile shop to offer a safe supply of drugs in the neighbourhood that has been destroyed by the “overdose epidemic”. He also added that his drugs were all tested to ensure they did not contain fentanyl – the synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin which contributes to a majority of overdose deaths. He revealed that he planned to sell batches of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and crack in small quantities, up to 2.5 grams, in an attempt to prevent further deaths.
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Further, according to the outlet, the 51-year-old said that he had planned to open his store after Health Canada decriminalised the possession of small quantities of hard drugs in the province of British Columbia (BC) early this year as part of a three-year pilot project. He also added that he plans to challenge his arrest in court, arguing contaminated drug supplies cause harm.
Separately, in a statement, Constable Tania Visintin said Vancouver police “support measures aimed at improving public safety for people who use drugs, including harm reduction services and decriminalisation” but said police would continue enforcement on drug trafficking.
Currently, Mr Martin is out of police custody pending a court hearing, police said. He has also been asked to stay away from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.