Correctional Service of Canada

Correctional Service of Canada

January 30, 2007 13:50 ET

Correctional Service of Canada: Record Year for Drug Seizures at Stony Mountain Institution

STONY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTION, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 30, 2007) - Staff at Stony Mountain Institution seized a record amount of narcotics and contraband prescription drugs last year. During 2006, staff intercepted 75 illegal drug shipments with an institutional value of over $248,000. Four narcotics seizures with an institutional value of $18,800 were made in December 2006.

On December 6, A Correctional Officer performing a search of an inmate entering the segregation area found a number of cigarette tubes filled with marijuana. The total institutional value was $1200. The drugs have been turned over to the Stonewall Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the inmate has been referred to them for charges.

On December 21, an officer observed a suspicious vehicle on the penitentiary perimeter. The vehicle was stopped and searched by the Detector Dog Team. The detector dog located two packages in the vehicle along with evidence showing that the packages were to be thrown over the fence into the prison. The packages and six vehicle occupants were turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The packages were found to contain marijuana with an institutional value of over $8500. The occupants of the vehicle were arrested for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.

Also on December 21, officers located a package that had been abandoned at a security checkpoint within the prison. The package contained marijuana with an institutional value of $900. It is believed the package was discarded by an unknown inmate when he noted officers performing routine strip searches of inmates returning from the visiting lounge.

On December 30, staff in the visits area observed a visitor behaving suspiciously. The visitor was confronted by security staff and a package was seized from her. The package and visitor were turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The package was found to contain marijuana and suspected ecstasy pills. Total institutional value is over $8200. The visitor has been charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.

Contraband drug seizures were nearly triple the total confiscated in 2005 and more than double any other annual total in recent history. Of the 75 seizures made in 2006, the vast majority of the drugs were seized before coming into the possession of inmates. The types of drugs seized include marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, hallucinogenic mushrooms and a wide variety of misdirected pharmaceuticals. Efforts by staff to improve Stony Mountain Institution's Institutional Drug Strategy have had a major impact on seizure rates as well as criminal charges resulting from drug smuggling.

The Correctional Service of Canada is committed to a zero tolerance policy that uses a combination of screening techniques for visitors, and dynamic security provided by Correctional Officers. Officers are trained to observe and act on suspicious activity as well as conduct routine searches. The use of an ionscan machine at the main entrance can detect drugs that are on or have been in contact with visitors. The drug dog can detect hidden drugs, be they on people or otherwise. The Security Intelligence department receives, analyzes and acts upon intelligence information from various sources. There is also a community policing relationship with the nearby Village of Stony Mountain and the RCMP that has resulted in tips and arrests. Community members observing suspicious activity on the institutional perimeter can call a dedicated direct phone line at 344-7132 to assist officers in reacting.

Stony Mountain recognizes that visitors play an important role in preventing the flow of drugs into our prisons. We would like to make the public aware that the inmates may try to force visitors to smuggle drugs into prisons using manipulation, threats, violence and blackmail. If visitors are being threatened, or coerced into bringing drugs to a friend or a family member, the institution has staff they can talk to and help arrange for their safety in the community. That contact number is (204) 344-6000.

Stony Mountain Institution is a medium security federal penitentiary located 11 km north of Winnipeg. There are currently 575 inmates at the facility.

Contact Information

  • Correctional Service of Canada
    Aimee Fortier
    Stony Mountain Institution - Unit Manager
    (204) 782-6843