Months-long Kingston Police investigation nabs drug traffickers targeting Integrated Care Hub

A months-long Kingston Police investigation has culminated in arrests and drug trafficking charges laid against two individuals preying on vulnerable citizens at Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub, located at 661 Montreal St.

“In October of 2021, members of the Kingston Police Street Crime Unit initiated a covert investigation into fentanyl trafficking in the downtown area of the City of Kingston that originated as a result of multiple complaints from various sources. The investigation led officers to the Integrated Care Hub located on Montreal Street,” Kingston Police confirmed.

Blue fentanyl. Supplied photo.

“The objective of the investigation was to target drug traffickers who were preying on some of the most vulnerable citizens of Kingston seeking shelter, food and accessible services through the Integrated Care Hub,” explained Sgt. Jonas Bonham of the Kingston Police Drug Unit. “The investigation was conducted for approximately three months and resulted in a male and female being arrested in the City of Kingston at different locations on December 20 and 21 respectively, for multiple charges including trafficking in fentanyl,” Sgt. Bonham continued.

Both suspects have now attended a bail hearing, with the male being remanded into custody, and the female released on court-imposed conditions while waiting to appear again in court at a future date.

“The investigation was conducted without the knowledge of staff at the Integrated Care Hub so as not to compromise their relationship with clientele,” said Sgt. Bonham. “The safety of both clientele and staff were taken into consideration during the police investigation.”

The two charged persons were:

John Paul Snyder, 37 years old, from Kingston, was arrested on Conacher Dr and charged with:
• Three counts of trafficking fentanyl
• Possession for the purpose of trafficking in Percocet
• Possession of crystal methamphetamine
• Two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon – brass knuckles, bear spray
• Carrying a concealed weapon – knife
• Two counts of possession of property obtained by crime under $5000.00
• Resist arrest

Kristine Elizabeth Bedard, 40 years old, from Kingston, was arrested at Belle Park and charged with:
• Trafficking fentanyl
• Fail to comply with undertaking
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000.00
• Possession of a prohibited weapon – bear spray

Black fentanyl. Supplied photo.

The ICH, which has been operating at its current Montreal St location since November 2020, after an initial pilot phase location at Artillery Park, is a partnership between the City of Kingston, HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) and Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC).

While ICH staff were not involved in nor aware of the investigation as it was taking place, Gilles Charette, Executive Director at HARS/Integrated Care Hub, expressed support for Kingston Police’s work, stating that the ICH has worked very hard to try to prevent illegal activity in and around the facility, including the hiring of security. “The terms (of attending the ICH facility) are clearly laid out,’ said Charette, “and illegal activity is not permitted.” 

Sgt. Bonham said the investigation is continuing and that additional charges against other individuals may be forthcoming. “We’ll continue to investigate, especially given the fact that these drug traffickers have chosen (this) location to prey on vulnerable citizens,” said Sgt. Bonham, adding that the highest priority throughout the investigation was to protect those vulnerable people that require the resources that the Integrated Care Hub provides.

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