On May 18, 2013, the WPS Public Information Office issued a media release announcing the arrest of Tyion Sanderson (23) who has been charged with Second Degree Murder regarding the murder of aspiring model Johnathen James Felix (21).
Felix was killed in the early morning hours of March 31, 2012 after becoming involved in a “drug deal gone bad” with a group of men. During the confrontation, one of the men produced a firearm and fatally shot Felix who died at the scene.
On January 10, 2013, at approximately 2:10 pm, after a lengthy investigation, Derek Davin Merrick (19) was charged with Second Degree Murder due to his alleged involvement in the killing. Merrick was detained in custody.
WPS PIO Constable Jason Michalyshen indicates the investigation is still considered to be ongoing and was not aware of any other pending arrests. Felix was Murder #9 recorded in 2012.
The Felix case reminds us of the inherent danger of participating in the illicit drug subculture in Winnipeg.
Drug dealers operate in an “all about money” culture and are often users who traffic narcotics to subsidize their habit. The mix of greed and drug use can be a dangerous combination. People involved in the drug trafficking world are constantly aware of the dangers their lifestyle presents. Drug rip-offs are a constant threat and a reality in the drug trafficking world.
The 2003 murder of TJ Wiebe (20) is a classic example of how recreational drug use and participation in drug trafficking activities can expose an individual to the nefarious cretins who operate in the drug underworld.
TJ became the target of a seventeen (17) year old rival drug dealer who enlisted the aid of a trio of meth users who joined him in the murderous conspiracy that ended TJ’s life. One of the primary motivating factors for TJ’s killers was greed associated with expectations for a substantial drug rip off.
These cases demonstrate the inherent danger that exists with the participation in the sale or use of hard-core street drugs.
(Incarceration, death by overdose or death by Homicide are all potential consequences of hard-core street drug use.)