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Four people arrested after lengthy investigation into 'dial-a-dope' ring

Four people have been arrested and charged following a lengthy investigation by Langley RCMP into a "dial-a-dope" operation.

Facing a variety of charges are Mikhail Marinov, 30, of Burnaby; Ruslan Makhmudov, 38, believed to be a Richmond resident; and Langley residents Tyson Tull, 39, and Ashley Smits, 20.

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. They appeared in court on Thursday, June 26 and have been remanded in custody, until a bail hearing on Thursday, July 10.

Tull and Smits are each charged with one count of committing an offence – trafficking cocaine and heroin, for the benefit of a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin. Till is also facing two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Smits is also charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking.

Tull and Smits also appeared in court on June 26. They were both released on bail and will next appear in court on July 22.

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," Langley RCMP spokesman Cpl. Holly Marks said in a press release.

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. The group moved to five different "stash houses" in a period of one year.  Police allege these houses were used for cooking crack, bulk packaging of drugs and counting and processing money.

Over the course of the investigation, drugs were seized on four separate occasions.  Approximate weights of the seized substances are nearly 600 grams of crack cocaine, 100 grams of powder cocaine, and 230 grams of heroin. Just over $8,000 of cash was seized. Police estimate the total value of the cash and drugs at over $140,000.

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

Sgt. Jason Wilde of Langley Drug Section said “Investigations such as this one require an immense amount of resources, effort and commitment on the part of the officers on my team. We are committed to targeting those responsible for running these operations – the "bosses" and "managers." Langley RCMP is completely committed to ensuring those responsible are held accountable.”

Langley RCMP Operations Support Officer Insp. Murray Power said various police agencies undertake co-ordinated efforts to tackle organized crime.

"The goal is to continually target groups before they become serious public safety issues.  These types of successes and efforts serve to benefit all Lower Mainland communities,” he said.

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