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Kelowna: Man arrested in drug bust with ties to shoot-out goes on the lam

Neil Elliot Collins was supposed to learn what his sentence for drug dealing and carrying weapons would be today, but instead the West Kelowna man went on the run.

Collins, 36, pleaded guilty to a number of drug trafficking and weapons charges earlier this month. But, despite the severity of the crimes he pleaded guilty to, the courts released him on $100,000 bail so he could clear away some personal matters.

He was supposed to find out his sentence Thursday, but  Collins had other plans.

"He failed to attend court, could not be contacted at his residence and may have tampered with his monitoring device," said Const. Kris Clark.

So Mounties shut down half the city and went out to get their man.

"Officers from Kelowna and West Kelowna as well as other detachments throughout the Southeast District set up road blocks and searched for him at multiple locations," said Clark.

"During the course of their investigation, police arrested an 18 year old West Kelowna woman and a 62-year-old West Kelowna man for obstruction."

Collins was arrested after Mounties raided a condo in the Shannon Lake area in May.

Officers seized nearly eight ounces of heroin, 4.5 ounces of crystal meth and four ounces of marijuana, as well as a half-litre of GHB and a quarter-litre of liquid codeine.

Police also found the prescription pills—allegedly from a robbery of the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy — thousands in cash and a loaded 9mm Glock handgun.  Collins is prohibited from possessing weapons but is known to have access to firearms through associates and may be armed.

In court Collins said he had connections in Mexico, and police believe he is on his way out of the country. The court also heard that at the time of his arrest, he had fears that a hit was on him and about to be exacted.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Neil Elliott Collins is asked to call your local police. If seen, do not approach him, rather call 911 immediately. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

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