Langley Mounties take down dial-a-dope drug ring


Langley RCMP say they have busted a busy dial-a-dope ring that was selling drugs throughout Langley for more than a year.

Police seized almost 600 grams of crack, almost 100 of powder cocaine, and 230 grams of heroin, along with more than $8,000 in cash and four vehicles. The total value of drugs and cash is estimated at more than $140,000.

Four people were arrested for a number of drug-related offences, and two have been held pending a bail hearing later this month.

The organized crime ring was allegedly selling crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP. 

A dial-a-dope operation works like a delivery service, taking orders over a phone line and meeting customers to deliver drugs.

Police say the volume of calls coming in to this ring was so high that a second line was established for Langley City.

The drugs were allegedly kept in rented “stash houses” around the Lower Mainland. There the group would cook crack cocaine, package the drugs, and count and process money, police allege.

The group allegedly moved to five different stash houses over the course of one year, Marks said.

Over almost a year, Langley RCMP Drug Section officers were monitoring the group, and trying to determine which members were managers and bosses in the group.

On June 26, four people were arrested. Mikhail Marinov, a 30-year-old Burnaby resident, Ruslan Makhmudov, 28, a possible Richmond resident, and Tyson Tull, 29, and Ashley Smits, 20, both of Langley.

Marinov and Makhmudov have both been charged with one count each of instructing an offence: to traffic in cocaine and heroin, and with conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and heroin.

Tull and Smits are each charged with trafficking and conspiracy, and Tull faces two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, while Smits is charged with possession of both cocaine and heroin for the purpose of trafficking.

Marinov and Makhmudov are both being held in custody and have a bail hearing scheduled for July 10 in Surrey Provincial Court.

Tull and Smits have already been released on bail and are due back in court on July 22.

“We are committed to targeting those responsible for running these operations – the ‘bosses’ and ‘managers’,” said Sgt. Jason Wilde of the Langley Drug Section. “Langley RCMP is completely committed to ensuring those responsible are held accountable.” 

Insp. Murray Power, the Langley RCMP Operations Support Officer, called the effort a success in the fight against organized crime.

“The goal is to continually target groups before they become serious public safety issues,” Power said.

Despite their relatively high profile, dial-a-dope operations crop up fairly regularly in the Lower Mainland. The murders of Laura Lynn Lamoureux and Marc Bontkes in 2009 were linked to members of a dial-a-dope operation, and in 2008 police busted a ring with two higher-level members and about 10 street dealers. A Langley man was also the leader of a group dubbed Dark Alley, which was so blatant it handed out business cards with its number. The Dark Alley group was busted in 2004.

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