Drug busts in B.C.: Massive secret lab discovered in Lumby, U.S. smugglers arrested in B.C., and more

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      B.C. RCMP have been involved in a series of drug busts this past week.

      Yesterday (October 27), a two-year international investigation into the export of illicit cannabis from Canada to Europe resulted in four men from Surrey and Langley facing charges.

      Here’s a summary of several other recent incidents, including the discovery of one of the province’s biggest clandestine drug labs, an attempt to smuggle drugs from the U.S. into Canada, and a vehicle stopped for speeding that resulted in drugs being seized.

      These chemical containers and large white plastic holding tanks were found at a clandestine laboratory in Lumby, B.C.
      B.C. RCMP

      Fentanyl and methamphetamine drug lab

      On October 19, B.C. RCMP used a search warrant for a residence in Lumby, where a massive clandestine laboratory was discovered.

      Officers arrested five individuals and found large quantities of drugs, precursor chemicals, and waste materials, including:

      • approximately 48 kilograms of ephedrine HCl;
      • 50 kilograms of solutions containing ephedrine HCl;
      • 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine HCl;
      • 147 gallons (556 litres) of solutions containing methamphetamine;
      • 10 kilograms of 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP), which is a direct precursor to fentanyl;
      • 2.95 kilograms of nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP), which is  is an androgen and anabolic steroid;
      • 660 grams of fentanyl;
      • 124.7 litres of solutions containing both fentanyl and ANPP.
      B.C. RCMP

      B.C. RCMP pointed out that waste material contaminates the environment and can pose health risks to the public, and that the specialized hazardous waste removal and disposal for this case will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (a specific amount was not provided).

      “In this instance, there was a very large amount of synthetic waste by-product that had yet to be disposed which posed a significant risk to the local farms and residents living in the area,” RCMP Supt. Bert Ferreira (officer in charge of the Federal RCMP Border Integrity teams in B.C.) stated in a news release. “Mitigating environmental contamination was one of the key factors in the timing of the warrant execution.”

      Five British Columbians and one Albertan were arrested.

      Michael McMorris, Robyn Bryson, Trent Fussi, Michael Harvey, Tyson Kopp. and Michael Piggott all face several counts of unlawfully possessing chemicals and equipment, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (methamphetamine and fentanyl), and production of a controlled substance (methamphetamine and fentanyl).

      Bryson and Fussi both face an additional charge of flight from police.

      McMorris, Harvey, Kopp, and Piggott are scheduled to appear in Kelowna Law Courts on October 27.

      Meanwhile,  Bryson and Fussi remain at large with warrants for their arrest.

      Surrey RCMP

      Psilocybin and cannabis

      On October 25, Surrey RCMP stopped a vehicle travelling 108 kilometres per hour in a 60 kilometres per hour zone near 96th Avenue and 166th Street in Surrey. Officers found and seized two small bags of cannabis and approximately 451 grams of psilocybin (or magic mushrooms).

      The driver received a driving prohibition and violation tickets for excessive speeding, failing to provide a driver’s license, and failing to display an N sign. The driver was released at the scene but the vehicle was impounded for seven days.

      Charges haven’t been laid yet for drug possession but the investigation remains ongoing.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection

      Cocaine and methamphetamine from U.S.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated on October 26 that agents at the Bonners Ferry Station, Idaho, were informed about suspicious activity on a remote forest service road near the Canadian border near Creston, B.C., on October 23.

      At the location, agents found two individuals concealing themselves, who fled into Canada when agents approached.

      Near where the individuals were hiding, agents found five duffel bags containing 38 kilograms (84 pounds) of cocaine, worth about $1.2 million; and 90 kilograms (198 pounds) of methamphetamine, worth about $960,000. The total worth of the narcotics are estimated to be about $2.16 million.

      RCMP arrested the two individuals who escaped into Canada and are collaborating with U.S. Border Patrol.

      Agents also alerted Idaho State Police about a vehicle seen leaving the area. Idaho police located the vehicle on Highway 95, took the driver into custody, and seized the vehicle.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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