The scales of justice outside the New Westminster Supreme Court House.

The scales of justice outside the New Westminster Supreme Court House.

Langley dial-a-dope suspects’ trial set to begin

Two-year investigation into alleged trafficking-by-phone operation led to four arrests

A trial is set to get underway this week for four people, including two from Langley, who are charged with commission of an offense for a criminal organization.

It was back in 2014, when the four were arrested and charged following a lengthy investigation by Langley RCMP into a “dial-a-dope” operation.

Langley residents Tyson Tull, 41, and Ashley Smits, 22, along with Mikhail Marinov, 32, of Burnaby and Ruslan Makhmudov, 40, of Richmond were arrested and charged with multiple drug related offences.

Tull and Smits are each charged with one count of committing an offence for a criminal organization — trafficking cocaine and heroin, for the benefit of a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin.

Tull and Smits are also facing two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Marinov and Makhmudov have been charged with one count each of instructing an offence —trafficking in cocaine and heroin for the benefit of a criminal organization, and conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin.

Langley RCMP Drug Section began its investigation in 2012.

Police allege a group trafficking crack, powder cocaine and heroin in Langley operated what is referred to as a “dial-a-dope” phone line.

Due to the call volume on the original line, a second Langley City “dial-a-dope” line number was generated.

“Criminal organization investigations are extremely complex and require a significant amount of time and effort to assemble the documentation necessary for Crown charge approval,” said Langley RCMP spokesman Cpl. Holly Largy at the time of the arrests.

For nearly a year, the activities of the group were monitored by officers in the drug section and a number of suspects were identified as possible managers and bosses of the “dial-a-dope” line.

The drugs being sold were kept in rented “stash houses” throughout the Lower Mainland. Police allege these houses were used for cooking crack, bulk packaging of drugs and counting and processing money.

Four vehicles were seized. Two were referred to civil forfeiture and police will be seeking criminal forfeiture of a third. The fourth vehicle was returned to the leasing company.

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