Victoria police target club drugs

King of Clubs bust marks first undercover buy of ketamine

Ecstasy seized by VicPD.

Four people face charges after Victoria police polished off a drug investigation that included the first known undercover drug purchase of ketamine.

Over three months, VicPD’s Strikeforce and Street Crime undercover officers purchased ecstasy, ketamine and cocaine from a group of people dealing to the local bars and clubs.

“Our primary concern was public safety, and getting these potentially deadly drugs off the street,” said Cst. Harvey Stevenson. “These type of club drugs pose significant risks to the user given that there chemical composition is oftentimes compromised.”

The undercover project, dubbed King of Clubs was a response to the increased popularity of club drug use in Victoria and the ecstasy-related deaths.

In late 2011 and the early part of this year, three people died on the Lower Mainland and another went to hospital after taking ecstasy. Several deaths in Calgary were also related to the drug.  A chemical substance called PMMA was linked to six ecstasy deaths.

In January, a 19-year-old man took the drug at a party in Saanichton. When friends noticed him convulsing, they called 911. He survived the overdose.

VicPD say there’s a recent increase in ketamine use on the local bar scene. Ketamine, also known as Special K, is an anesthetic typically sold as a powder on the street. It is usually snorted, mixed in drinks or smoked.

Four people were arrested and face numerous drug-related and trafficking charges: David Orchard, 36; Cheryl Weeks, 29; Christopher Cook, 42, and Sara Clough, 30.