08/15/2013 11:41 EDT | Updated 10/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Boy, 12, charged with dealing cocaine in Winnipeg

A 12-year-old boy is one of six people accused of dealing cocaine out of a West End Winnipeg home.

Police busted the drug operation on Wednesday afternoon, arresting half a dozen people inside the home on the 500 block of Langside Street.

A search resulted in the seizure of crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and $1,241 in cash.

As well as being charged with trafficking a controlled drug or substance, the boy was also charged with possession of the proceeds of crime and failing to comply with the conditions of a prior court order.

A 16-year-old girl, 17-year-old boy, 18-year-old man, 28-year-old woman and 33-year-old woman have all been charged with similar offences. According to police, the people charged are not family.

Neighbours in the area said they saw people coming and going from the property constantly in the past three months.

Police spokesman Const. Eric Hofley said the arrest of the young boy is very disturbing.

"I can't even comprehend how someone so young could already be caught up in the drug trade and … you know, there are adults in there that are allowing this," he said.

"It's disturbing, whether it be, you know, what we might consider a lighter drug such as marijuana or a hard drug such as cocaine. [That] they would involve someone so young is just beyond my belief."

Hofley said children are sometimes used by dealers as drug mules, to transport goods from one spot to another.

Neighbour Maria Matthew said she worries about her 12-year-old daughter being targeted by drug dealers in the area.

“It’s crazy out there. What if that’s my daughter? What if they lure her in?” she said. “I’m glad we kept her inside — didn’t let her out often.”