RCMP report no major accidents but numerous drug seizures involving Shambhala Music Festival patrons
Sergeant John Ferguson of the West Kootenay Traffic Services said police are happy to report that there were no major accidents involving patrons attending last week’s Shambhala Music Festival near Salmo.
Ferguson said the WKTS and Integrated Road Safety Unit worked long hours to ensure the motoring public arrived to their destinations safely.
“Our focus this year was on the aggressive driving and getting people to drive responsibly,” Ferguson said in a media release Thursday.
“It is unfortunate that some did not heed the warnings in the media as in the week of Shambhala we impounded 61 vehicles for traveling well in excess of 40 km/hr an hour over the speed limit.”
“The majority of these were people traveling to and leaving Shambhala,” Ferguson added.
Ferguson said police also charged three people with being impaired by drugs, one by alcohol and impounded numerous vehicles as the drivers where prohibited from driving or their vehicle was unsafe to be on the roads.
Both police units also seized a major quantity of drugs during road checks in and around the entrance to the Shambhala Music Festival on Highway 3 a few miles east of Salmo.
“The WKTS and IRSU unit had 104 drug seizure files,” Ferguson said.
“The drugs seized where Cannabis, MDMA, Ketamine, LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Hash oil, Cocaine, Shatter, Steroids, and Crystal Meth.”
Ferguson said approximately 23 people were charged with possession of a controlled substances, two charged with trafficking, one for Proceeds of Crime, and one arrested for Breach of her conditional sentence and is in custody.
“All charges under the Controlled Substance Act were from people going to and coming from Shambhala,” he said.
Ferguson said police spoke to each driver and most of the occupants of vehicles stopped Monday and Tuesday during the mass exodus from Shambhala.
“A very high ratio of the occupants admitted coming from Shambhala and readily confessed to have used illegal controlled substances during the week and weekend,” he said.
“We are very happy that everyone arrived home safe this year,” Ferguson added.