Highly visible police work conducted in Kelowna at the end of March helped police gather intelligence about gang activity in the Central Okanagan, according to B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC).
Officers of the CFSEU-BC’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) convened with Kelowna RCMP on March 21 to help target gang or organized crime activity.
The UGET reportedly spent six days in the region, according to the CFSEU-BC, targeting individuals and groups believed to pose the greatest risk to public safety.
“During their time in the Okanagan, UGET members seized, three airsoft guns, multiple knives, and a baton,” said a release from the CFSEU-BC. “Also seized were quantities of suspected cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and potentially deadly fentanyl.”
The operation stopped 21 vehicles and checked 27 people, according to the CFSEU-BC, with the majority of those people connected to the street-level drug trade.
Numerous officers with UGET descended on a West Kelowna home in March, with one man arrested.
Five days later, a man who lives in the house, Kyle Gianis, was shot outside a Kelowna gym but survived with a leg injury.
No one has been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Gianis said police seized his cellphone and vehicle during their search of his Vineyard View Drive home, but, so far, no charges have been laid.
While UGET usually works in the Lower Mainland, the team said it regularly visits other B.C. communities to offer support to local police.
“Providing UGET support to Kelowna is a positive for the community and law enforcement,” the CFSEU-BC said.