Fredericton — Second Cup is long gone and Starbucks has yet to arrive, meaning that the little area near the bus stops outside Kings Place is temporarily Fredericton’s best place to buy and sell drugs — stealing the honour from the Brookside Mall parking lot.
“The windows are covered with this brown paper, there are bums everywhere, it reeks of pot, there’s McDonald’s wrappers blowing past the trash can — and druggies and dealers are coming and going on city buses. Really, it’s effin’ perfect,” said a shifty-eyed Robbie Leavitt of George Street, who was loitering on the sidewalk outside Scotiabank. “You never see cops anywhere nearby, either. Probably because it’s just too bleak a spot to even patrol.”
Other drugs users agree.
“I still buy my drugs in the Brookside Mall parking lot when I happen to be over on the north side,” said Jamie-Lynn Allen, “but it’s nice when I text my dealer to tell him to come somewhere more central, ya know? He’s a busy guy.”
Allen’s dealer, Kirby Moorehouse, said that when he doesn’t have his car available for some mysterious reason — which happens at least weekly — he now agrees to meet his clients outside Kings Place.
“I blend in with the crowd there. Honestly, everybody is wearing grimy, baggy jeans, a huge ripped hoodie, and is smoking and coughing and spitting on the ground…how would the cops even identify me if someone reported it?
“At the Brookside Mall it’s always a bit risky ‘cuz it looks like a drug deal, right? Two cars facing each other, idling with their driver’s side windows rolled down, handing something through. And there’s nobody else around so it’s like…if I get busted what am I gonna say, ‘Oh, I was just doing some shopping at the mall?’ Even the dumbest cop wouldn’t buy that.”
Dealers whose business is exclusively on the north side are less than pleased.
“I live in Naasis and I’m sure as hell not going to ask my mom to drive me downtown just to sell someone a gram of coke. What am I supposed to do?” whined dealer Todd Ogilvie. “I guess I’ll just have to wait for that Starbucks to open. Those rich yuppies will scare my sketchbag customers back to the north side where they belong.”