After a series of fatal shootings in the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict, several police agencies have provided updates on what action they’re taking to address gang activity, including releasing lists of individuals who are the highest risk to public safety.
Meanwhile, Surrey RCMP not only busted a major gang-related drug lab but also are using an example of an individual found carrying drugs in his anus to dispel any misperceptions about gang lifestyles.
Fentanyl drug lab
As part of a multi-agency investigation into gangs, organized crime, and drugs, Surrey RCMP announced on May 13 that officers used a search warrant at a commercial warehouse in the 1900 block of McLean Avenue in Port Coquitlam on April 19.
Inside, officers found a large illicit drug-manufacturing operation. In addition to laboratory and drug-manufacturing equipment, police also discovered 37 kilograms of chemicals associated with making fentanyl.
Police experts estimated that the potential yield would be 26 kilograms of pure fentanyl.
As Surrey RCMP stated that an illicit fatal street dose of fentanyl is estimated to be two milligrams, this seizure would represent approximately 13 million potentially fatal doses, or over two and a half times the population of B.C.
It took three days for evidence to be collected and for the drug lab to be dismantled by Surrey RCMP, the Federal RCMP Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response Team, the Lower Mainland Integrated Forensics Identification Section, Health Canada chemists, and Coquitlam RCMP.
Surrey RCMP stated that “this drug and chemical seizure has dealt a multi-million-dollar blow to organized crime and gangs in B.C.”
The investigation remains ongoing.
Back door bust
Surrey RCMP stated today (May 19) that officers stopped a rental vehicle in the 15200 block of 16th Avenue at 7:30 p.m. on May 14 for an investigation about an offence under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.
As the officers interacted with the driver, they “observed evidence consistent with drug trafficking” and also found several cell phones.
Police arrested both the driver and his male passenger for possession for the purposes of trafficking.
Both individuals were taken to police cells where they were searched.
During the search, police found a large bag protruding from the passenger’s rectum.
When removed, police found 18 rocks of suspected crack cocaine (weighing nine grams) and 26 spitballs of suspected powder cocaine (weighing 14 grams).
The two men have been released from custody. The investigation, which includes lab analysis of the suspected drugs, is continuing on, with charges pending.
“There are gang members on social media trying to sell the idea that gang life is a life of wealth, luxury, and prestige,” Surrey RCMP spokesperson Const. Sarbjit Sangha. “The reality is that gang members live in constant fear of getting robbed or murdered by other gang members, or getting arrested by police. This is the reason why they risk their lives by sticking bags of deadly drugs into their rectums.”