Nanaimo cops nab gang member with link to Kamloops

A Redd Alert gang member with ties to Kamloops has been arrested in a drug bust in Nanaimo.

Police nabbed Kevin Eric John, 32, Friday night along with three others.

Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien said John is a full-fledged member of the street gang, which predominately recruits from First Nations teens.

He said the gang has cells in the Salmon Arm and Chase/Neskonlith areas but there are no known groups active on Vancouver Island.

Police in Kamloops also made it clear Wednesday that Redd Alert has no foothold in Kamloops.

Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said officers are aware of the gang and of John, but a concentrated effort is constantly underway to keep gangs out of the city.

He said John has frequented Kamloops but has no fixed address. The fact he turned up in Nanaimo speaks to his transient lifestyle as a gang member.

"Some people associated with Redd Alert are living in Kamloops. But we also know that many of these people lead a transient lifestyle and move from community to community," said Learned.

That movement is used to spread criminal activity in much the same way businesses move to create new ventures, he said.

All four people taken into custody in Nanaimo are suspected of trafficking cocaine, which led to a search warrant being executed at an apartment.

O'Brien said police seized drug paraphernalia, evidence of cocaine usage, a small quantity of marijuana and clothing worn by Redd Alert.

Along with John, Christopher David, 22, and Terry Aleck, a 21-year-old woman, were charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. The fourth suspect was released on a promise to appear.

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