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By T. M. Helliwell

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A lot of police work involved breaking down doors to serve drug warrants. On Saturday nights, a constable could be reasonably certain that he was going to mix it up with someone before the night was over, and it was pretty likely that he’d wake up hurting on Sunday. Early on, his fellow officers had warned him about the Tanasichuk brothers. They were a rough bunch, he was told, and one of them had expressed a deep desire to kill a police officer, so he’d better watch his back. Over the years, though, while one or another of the brothers occasionally crossed his path, he only had sporadic contact with David and did not know Maria.

Once he’d obtained the sawed-off, David Tanasichuk had wrapped his altered weapon in a tarp to protect it and hidden it in the woods just inside the city limits, in a spot where it could be easily retrieved when he was ready to execute his plan. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for his intended victims, he had confided some of the details of his scheme to a fellow drug dealer who, it turned out, was working with the police as an informant. ” Noting that it had the potential to do untold damage, he observed: “These individuals [the targets of the plot] would have no way of knowing the seriousness of this or the timing.

Despite the fug of cigarette smoke, as the two were constant smokers, Maria was a proud and meticulous housekeeper who rigorously enforced her “leave your shoes at the door or else” rule. David readily admitted that Maria had been heavily on him for his drug use and that she had been hiding their money so he couldn’t get at it to buy drugs. When Cummings tried to gather information to aid them in searching for Maria, asking who Maria had gone to stay with and what clothing and other things she had taken with her, information that might help them gauge how long she planned to be away, David became vague.

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