Two Yellowknife men charged after RCMP seize about a pound of crack cocaine from vehicle near Enterprise

Photo courtesy of RCMP

RCMP in the Northwest Territories are reporting that officers seized about a pound of crack cocaine from a vehicle near Enterprise, south of Hay River

According to a news release from the Mounties, police from the RCMP’s Federal Investigations Unit (FIU) stopped a northbound vehicle believed to be on route to Yellowknife on Sunday.

Police say the vehicle stop was initiated as part of a three month investigation into cocaine trafficking in the NWT.

The vehicle’s two occupants were arrested and their vehicle was searched.

Inside the vehicle, police say they located approximately one pound of crack cocaine.

Shortly after the arrests, Mounties executed search warrants at two Yellowknife apartment units located in a downtown apartment building.

Police say evidence of drug trafficking was located inside the apartment.

They don’t say what that evidence was.

Two people were arrested and later released without charges, police stated.

The two occupants of the vehicle, Ronald Joseph Payne, 55, and 61-year-old Lyle Elliot Yanke, both of Yellowknife, are each charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

ʺThe RCMP in the Northwest Territories sees the damage done to our communities by the illicit drug trade on a daily basis. We remain committed to conducting enforcement at all levels of the distribution chain. In this case, we were able to arrest two individuals allegedly transporting drugs from Alberta into the NWT and seize the drugs before they were able to reach our communities to do more harmʺ states RCMP Staff Sergeant Dean Riou, of the ʺGʺ Division Federal Investigations Unit.

Payne and Yanke were released from custody after appearing before a Justice of the Peace on Monday.

Their next court appearance is on March 23 in Hay River.

Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to call Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, (click on “submit a web tip”) or text: “nwtnutips” plus your message to 274637.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.