“Operation B-Tarantula” Playing Out like a Netflix Crime Drama

All in, 7 different police forces across multiple provinces were involved in Operation B-Tarantula.

Not to glorify local crime, or sound unprofessional by discussing things happening in real people’s lives in an entertained tone, but c’mon: a local sting named “Operation b-Tarantula,” a local drive-by shooting, a pipe bombing in St. John’s, 4 people plotting the murder of a man allegedly trying to set up a chapter of Hells’ Angels, all linked together … what is this, a Sons of Anarchy spin-off?

Bradley Summers lived in the home on Hamilton Avenue that was firebombed a few years back. That house was firebombed on the same day as the drive-by shooting in Kenmount Terrace. It is alleged that Summers tried to start a St. John’s chapter of the Hell’s Angels. 4 people have been charged with conspiring to murder him.

In the spring of 2017, the RNC/RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit NL launched an investigation, dubbed Operation B-Tarantula, into Dustin “Dusty” Etheridge and his crew, for conspiracy to murder Summers. All in, 7 different police forces across multiple provinces were involved in Operation B-Tarantula.

Roughly a year later, in May of 2018, Etheridge and John Squires were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit Summer’s murder. Search warrants executed as a result of Operation Tarantula arrests led to the seizure of 7 kilos of cocaine, 20 firearms, some vehicles, and $240,000.

They had a loaded handgun and knife in their possession at the time of their arrest.

As part of the fallout, 6 people associated with Ethridge were facing charges of trafficking or conspiracy to traffic cocaine (among other charges specific to specific people), and Brandon Glasco and Shane Clarke were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Ethridge has also been charged with obstructing a police officer and attempting to bribe an RNC officer with money to interfere with the administration of justice.

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland has asked for a postponement on the matter of this case until October 4th, because he would like to unite the conspiracy charges, in order to make this one case, with four co-accused.

Etheridge is the same man who was recently sentenced to 3 months in jail for what a judge described to media as a “bizarre and random” incident: Etheridge approached a car in the Torbay Road Stripmall parking lot, and tapped on the woman’s window with a knife. She wouldn’t roll the window down as instructed, so he started slashing up her car. He told police he did it because someone had robbed his cellphone and some tools, and he thought she was responsible.

Meanwhile, Bradley Summers, the target of the murder plot, is currently in custody for 3 offences related to firearms violations, and for breaking into a home in Mt. Pearl on August 14th.

Police have said they expect to make more arrests in connection with Operation B-Tarantula.

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