America’s Drug Enforcement Administration has confirmed it is assisting with the RCMP’s investigation into the murders of Ryan Daley and Dan Archbald. (Photo - RCMP)

DEA confirms involvement in RCMP’s Ucluelet homicide investigation

“We stay in our lane, which is drug crimes. That’s where we stay.”

America’s Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting the RCMP’s investigation into the homicide of Ryan Daley and Dan Archbald, according to DEA Special Agent Jodie Underwood.

In an email to the Westerly News on Monday, Underwood confirmed that the DEA is assisting the investigation, but said she could not speak to the capacity of the DEA’s involvement.

Daley and Archbald’s remains were discovered near Ucluelet in June. They were last seen leaving Ucluelet’s inner boat basin on-foot on May 16. Police say they arrived in Ucluelet on May 13 after a roughly eight-week sailing trip from Panama.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Janelle Shoihet declined to comment on the DEA’s involvement in the investigation, but said it is “not uncommon” for police to engage or consult with domestic and international partners in order to move an investigation forward.

“At this point, we are not prepared to provide specifics with respect the homicide investigation of Ryan Daley and Daniel Archbald, however I can assure you the investigation is a priority for the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and remains active and ongoing,” she said.

DEA spokesperson Wade Sparks also declined to provide specifics, but said the DEA has offices in Canada and often works with RCMP.

“We work with RCMP everyday. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re working on this particular case,” he said. “DEA working with counterparts in a foreign country, where we have an office, is very common and it’s the reason we’re there.”

He added that the DEA would not be involved in a homicide investigation.

“Just to be clear, DEA does not investigate murders,” he said. “We stay in our lane, which is drug crimes. That’s where we stay. We don’t investigate homicides. We’re never going to be an agency that’s going to solve a murder…That’s not something that we would be even attempting to do. It’s not our lane.”

Archbald and Daley were only back in Canada for a short period of time before they went missing and their bodies were discovered a month later. Police quickly announced their deaths had been deemed suspicious.

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