Two Abbotsford moms have been sentenced for their role in a dial-a-dope operation that came to the attention of police after a student passed on a “business card” listing the number.
Nicole Angelina Haller, 34, and Richelle Lotte Dyck, 27, both pleaded guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance. Haller was given a six-month conditional sentence, which is served in the community, while Dyck was handed a four-month conditional sentence.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the case is significant not only because it is unusual for two women to be charged in such an operation, but they are both mothers.
Their arrests came last June, not long before the Abbotsford Police Department began its Operation Lodestar posters and forums aimed at parents. The posters showed a young boy decked out in gangster and prison attire, with the slogan “When I grow up, I want to be just like Daddy.”
MacDonald said the arrests of the two women are also significant in that police found out about the dial-a-dope operation from a student who had attended an Operation Impact presentation at his school.
That program involved police talking to middle and high school kids about the dangers and lures of the gang lifestyle.
Not long after one of the sessions, a middle school student passed on a dial-a-dope card he had received.
“He reflected back on the Operation Impact presentation and decided the right thing to do was to give it to police,” MacDonald said.
Police then called the number, posing as drug buyers, and arranged a meeting at a location determined by the dealers. That spot turned out to be across from St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary on Townline Road.
Haller and Dyck showed up for the transaction and were found with 100 grams of marijuana, cellphones and $400 cash.
MacDonald said they would have been on the “low level” of the operation.
He said dial-a-dope operations continue to be “a major means of street-level drug distribution in the Lower Mainland,” but nabbing all the players – particularly the ring leaders – can be challenging.
“One of the side effects of technology is that cellphones and cellphone numbers have become an almost disposable commodity … You can be operating with one number today, and then dump it and get a new one.”