It’s not every day a 19-year-old is found with about $150,000 worth of drugs.
But when Tyler Michael Donahue was arrested Wednesday for reportedly having just that, it came as no shock to police, who are seeing it as a growing trend in the Northeast Avalon region.
It’s that rise in drug crimes that has prompted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and RCMP to team up and form a joint task force.
“Because of the increase in violence, drugs and organized crime that we’ve been seeing lately in the St. John’s area, a joint task force was initiated,” Const. Steve Curnew told reporters Thursday during a news conference at RNC headquarters, where the seized drugs were displayed.
The joint task force — which was first established in early June — was responsible for Wednesday’s seizure.
“The seizure is the first of its kind for this joint team,” Curnew said.
Acting on information it gathered over time, the team executed a search warrant at Donahue’s apartment on Great Eastern Avenue in the Kenmount Terrace area of the capital city. There, officers say, they found 32 pounds of marijuana, an ounce of cocaine and a small amount of money.
Donahue was taken into custody and charged with possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possessing cocaine.
He had been arrested the day before and charged with possessing a weapon (bear spray) for a dangerous purpose. He was released on that charge with a promise to appear in court at a later date.
He was put in jail when police arrested him on drug charges.
However, when he came before a judge at provincial court in St. John’s Thursday, prosecutor Trevor Bridger told Judge Jim Walsh that the Crown consented to have Donahue released on strict conditions.
Donahue was ordered to pay a $7,500 cash deposit. He must also report to RNC weekly. He’s not allowed to have any weapons, he must abstain from consuming drugs or trafficking in drugs and he is banned from having a cellphone or any other wireless communication device.
He’s due back in court Aug. 21.
Curnew said there’s no evidence to suggest the drug bust has any connection to the recent drive-by shooting on Dauntless Street in Kenmount Terrace on May 31.
Meanwhile, police are asking anyone with information in relation to this investigation to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
People can also provide information anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.