A West Kelowna drug dealer who allegedly spent several months on the lam after taking off before a drug-related sentencing hearing has been arrested in the Lower Mainland.
Forty-year-old Leslie McCulloch, also known as Alexander Lester Kreed, was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant issued on March 27.
The former Hells Angels associate also earned himself a spot on the Crime Stoppers most wanted list after failing to attend a court appearance for producing drugs for the purpose of trafficking.
Leslie McCulloch and his girlfriend, Rebekka Rae White, were arrested in March of 2016 after a police raid at a West Kelowna automobile restoration shop.
Mounties executed a search warrant at West Kelownas Kandy and Krome Kustoms, which is owned by McCulloch. They also executed a search warrant at McCullochs home.
RCMP said at the time that they seized about eight kg of suspected fentanyl, hundreds of fake Oxycontin and Percocet pills, two industrial pill presses and $40,000 in the two locations.
Police estimate that this operation has potentially produced hundreds of thousands of pills, likely distributed locally and possibly beyond, said Kelowna RCMP Sgt. Alex Lynch in a previous news release.
According to parole board documents it was suggested that (McCulloch) had been importing fentanyl from China and making Percocet and Oxycontin pills.
McCulloch pleaded guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance in February of 2017, and later tried unsuccessfully to take back that plea.
Earlier this year, McCulloch was scheduled for a court appearance ahead of his January 28 sentencing date.
On Sunday, a contingent of covert surveillance RCMP officers from the drug section of the Kelowna RCMPs Street Enforcement Unit (SEU) arrested McCulloch inside a restaurant located in the 6000-block of 200 Street in the Langley area.
Leslie McCulloch was arrested without any incident, by our team of plain clothes officers, said Cpl. Jesse ODonaghey in a statement.
McCulloch was turned over to the Langley RCMP and remains in custody. He is expected to appear in court on Monday.
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And, as expected, taxpayers are getting a bit of a break from the increase expected following adoption of the provisional budget in December.
The initial tax hit was pegged at 4.43 per cent, however, financial planning manager George King says a larger than expected increase in new construction allowed the city to reduce the overall increase to 4.1 per cent.
"During provisional budget, the new construction revenue was BC Assessment's estimate at that time," he said.
"Now that the appeal process is complete, the city received the revised roll information from BC Assessment, which we determine the new construction assessments went up. The result was a $1.07 million increase in new construction revenue."
That additional tax revenue allowed the city to reduce the tax impact, despite the fact the overall tax demand increased by $626,000 to $142.5 million.
King says the additional monies were required to "address a demonstrated need in the community."
Those include repairs necessary at the Chapman Parkade, Rutland Arena and the shoreline around the Cook Road Boat Launch.
The city also made a shift in budget allocation, putting an additional $435,000 into the infrastructure levy.
That means more of the increase (2.27 per cent) is going toward the infrastructure levy than into city operations (1.83 per cent).
The taxpayer in an average home valued at $684,000 will pay about $2.072 for the municipal portion of the tax bill, an increase of a little more than $81.
The average business, assessed at $1.63 million, will pay about $11,625 in municipal taxes, and approximately $21.100 overall.