BRITISH COLUMBIA

Victoria police don't 'Dali' as art gallery raid sends drug house to the canvas

05/29/2013 01:40 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT
VICTORIA - An art gallery owner and two accomplices may have painted themselves into a corner in connection with an alleged drug ring in downtown Victoria.

Police say the three are facing charges following a month-long investigation dubbed Project Dali.

They allege the The Loft art gallery was a front for selling and supplying drugs and bootleg liquor to street youth, who then resold the goods through the downtown core.

A news release from the Victoria Police Department says the 38-year-old gallery owner was arrested Friday morning as a raid on his gallery turned up large amounts of marijuana, hash and cocaine, along with eight litres of moonshine.

A 28-year-old woman was picked up a short time later as officers searched a home linked to the gallery, where marijuana, crystal meth, ketamine and cash were seized, and a 19-year-old drug supplier was arrested when police intercepted texts meant for the gallery owner.

Police say he and the woman are expected to return to court next month while the 19-year-old will appear at a later date to face drug trafficking charges.