Two major drug busts this year in University District

University Avenue resident brought into custody, Earl Street resident convicted

A knife and pellet gun seized alongside the drugs from University Avenue
Supplied by Kingston Police

As one University District drug case concludes in court, another one begins.

On June 6 Kingston Police (KP) raided a property on University Avenue near Brock Street, arresting a 23-year-old male, Jayson R. Markey, who was the only one in the house at the time, with multiple drug charges.

Seized by KP at the scene was over 250 grams of powder or crystalized substances, over 200 pills, and quantities of marijuana, cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, amphetamine, hydromorphone, Alprazolam, and MDMA (Ecstasy).

Quantities of drugs seized from the residence on University Ave.

Weapons were also found on scene. A knife and a pellet handgun were seized in accompaniment with the drugs.

The accused was transported to KP headquarters, to attend a bail hearing the following day. He was eventually released on a recognizance, with various conditions that he must abide by in anticipation of his next court date and eventual sentencing.

This most recent case bares similarities to one from November of last year, which was most recently resolved in court.

The November raid was only a few streets away from the most recent one, in the area of Earl and Division Streets. It resulted in the apprehension of two apparent Queen’s students — Paul W. Barry, 20, and Justin Cha, 18 — as well as $1715 in Canadian currency and large quantities of MDMA/ecstasy and marijuana.

Barry faced counts of trafficking of controlled substances, possession for the purpose of trafficking in controlled substances, and a single count of possession of proceeds of crime.

All charges Cha faced were later dropped.

In the second week of May this year, Barry was convicted on two counts of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.

His sentencing was suspended, and he was placed on probation for 18 months. Barry will have to forfeit $1,715 in Canadian currency to the Crown.

Media Relations officer for Kingston Police Steve Koopman explained that when a tip is received about suspected drug trafficking, officers search for enough information, patterns, or behaviour to raise significant concerns.

“Sometimes officers may have to insert themselves, undercover, into a buy situation to confirm that drugs are actually being sold,” he said.

During last year’s Earl Street operation, a KP officer went undercover and bought $1,500 of drugs over several meetings.

Various pills also found in the University Avenue house 

Once the alleged drug trafficking is confirmed, a warrant is obtained. These often involve multiple units due to the high risk situations that tend to accompany drug busts.

“Quite often where there’s drugs, there’s guns,” Koopman said. Officers needed to ensure satisfactory protection for both themselves and those in the immediate area of the bust.

Since both the houses of Markey and Barry were in the Queen’s University District, Koopman spoke about KP’s involvement with Queen’s Campus personnel.

“We have a very good working relationship with Queen’s Campus Security and Emergency Services, and will often advise them of our actions and investigations,” he explained.

KP would often have these conversations if the action or investigation “involves Queen’s students, staff, personnel or locations in and around the University District,” Koopman said.

Though Barry’s day in court has come, for Markey, the legal process is just beginning. His court date, for plea and counsel, is set for July 7. 

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