Yukon RCMP August 24 arrest: speaking notes from media availability on August 30, 2023

August 30, 2023
Whitehorse, Yukon



During the search of the residence, attending officers located 11 firearms / En perquisitionnant dans le domicile, la police a saisi de nombreux articles - les 11 armes à feu

Hello everyone, thank you for joining us today. I am Supt. Lindsay Ellis and I am the Officer in Charge for Yukon RCMP's Criminal Operations. We are here today to provide an update on last week's arrest of Taylor Duke.

As previously announced, the Whitehorse RCMP executed a search warrant on the morning of August 24th 2023 in the Takhini Hot Springs Road area in relation to a shooting that took place in early July of this year. Members of the Whitehorse Detachment General Investigation Section, Yukon RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Emergency Response Team and Police Dog Services participated in the investigation and response. We were assisted by G Division (Northwest Territories RCMP ERT) and K Division (Alberta ERT) and Yukon EMS to ensure the safety all involved.

Duke had been unlawfully at large since December 2022 as a result of failing to attend court for previous charges. He had previously been charged for offences which occurred between October 2021 and June 2022 and released from custody with various conditions, which he failed to comply with, such as attending court hearings and not to possess firearms. Yukon RCMP made significant effort to arrest Mr. Duke since that time.

Due to the history of violence and suspected illegal possession of firearms, the RCMP's response was planned and conducted to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the success of the search warrant.

As a result, Taylor Duke was arrested without incident and appeared in court on August 24th for 25 charges, including the new charges of:

  • Attempted Murder with a Firearm, Criminal Code, Section 239 (1);
  • Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Code, Section 92 (1);
  • Disobeying a Court Order, Criminal Code, Section 117.01; and
  • Carrying a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Code, Section 94.

During the search of the residence, attending officers located:

  • 11 firearms including:
    • AR-15 Carbine Rifle .556 Cal
    • AM-15 Carbine Rifle .223 Cal
    • PA-15 Carbine Rifle .223 Cal
    • Stag 10 Carbine Rifle .308 Cal
    • Action Arms UZI with suppressor 9MM
    • Llama Max-1 Handgun .45 ACP
    • Glock 17 9MM
    • JR Carbine Rifle .45 Cal
    • Weatherby Mark-V Rifle .30-378 Cal
    • MK 12 - 12 Gauge Shotgun
    • Escort - 12 Gauge Shotgun
  • Along with the firearms, various types of ammunition and high capacity magazines were also seized.
  • We then seized a large quantity of drugs, which are currently being analyzed and tested but they appear to include:
    • 663 tablets of Alprazolam "otherwise known as Xanax"
    • 1594.5 grams or 1.5 KG of cocaine
    • 127.21 grams of fentanyl
    • 636.65 Grams of heroin
    • 7.38 grams of methamphetamine
    • 551.12 grams of an unknown white powder, believed to be superbuff
    • 325 unknown capsules (Yellow, White and Clear in color)
  • And finally, we seized $163,887.65 in cash

The drugs and firearms, seized through this investigation, represent a significant disruption to drug trafficking and potential violence in our Territory. While investigations continue, we expect to see Duke charged with further offences and will update media and the public as we can.

Whitehorse, and the Yukon as a whole, is not exempt from the reach of organized crime. The RCMP is committed to safe homes and safe communities for all Yukoners and Canadians, which is why combatting organized crime is one of our strategic priorities as an organization, and is included in the Yukon Minister of Justice's 2023 Policing Priorities for RCMP.

Just the guns and drugs seized from this one residence demonstrates the real danger that is hiding in our communities. Substance use in communities goes hand-in-hand with drug trafficking and organized crime. We continue to have concerns surrounding opportunities for predatory drug traffickers who could exploit the vulnerable and the dangers that organized crime inherently brings.

The formula behind much of the violence associated with organized crime is simple; possessing quantities of drugs gives the perception that there is money to be made, which often leads to competition and conflict. Gangs and their associates have a callous disregard for the safety of others when disputes erupt and it places the public at risk.

We will continue to dedicate ourselves to using an intelligence-led and integrated approach to reducing the threat and impact of organized crime and support our stakeholders in efforts to prevent disrupt and deter participation in the drug trade.

We, again, want to thank all of the officers and employees involved in making this operation a success and we now invite attending media to ask questions.

Related links:

August 24, 2023: RCMP execute search warrant and arrest Taylor Duke on outstanding warrants
June 10, 2023: Yukon RCMP Crime Reduction Unit arrest: speaking notes from media availability on June 8, 2022


Contact information

Yukon RCMP Communications

File number: 2023-989561

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