Alleged Mantler assault victim faces drug charges

One of the men who claims he was assaulted by a notorious Kelowna cop is dealing with his own legal woes.

Manjeet Singh Bhatti, who will be the Crown’s main witness in an assault trial for Kelowna RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler, turned himself into police late Wednesday morning, just over a week after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Bhatti faces three charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, and is among 21 suspects police rounded up in an drug sting that focused on cocaine dealers in the downtown core.

Const. Steve Holmes pointed out that Bhatti was not singled out for his actions, just part of a street level drug operation conducted in late September.

That sting resulted in undercover officers making 40 cocaine and one heroin buy from 13 men and eight women.

Two of the buys were from two 17-year-olds, who were the youngest of the group.

“The oldest dealer was 44 years of age,” said Holmes.

“One of the dealers is from Vernon and the rest are local.”

Several of the dealers were arrested on sight, and warrants were obtained for the rest of the individuals charged.

A court date will be scheduled for Bhatti, but in the meantime he’ll likely be seen in June when he faces off against Const. Mantler, who he alleges assaulted him Aug. 30, 2010.

The second charge against Mantler stemmed from a Jan. 7 arrest, when he was filmed kicking a prone suspect in the head.

The film of that episode made national news and sparked an outcry against police brutality.

Suspects sought

Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the following: Justin Morgan Sheena, Darren Campbell Jamieson, Griffin Anthony Gagnon, Michael Patrick Gardiner and Lisa Crowther.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of these individuals, contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


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