Investigation Into Alleged Drug Distribution Network Nets Over $5 Million In Drugs And Several Arrests
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia is announcing the results of a seven month long investigation into the alleged drug trafficking activities of a crime cell based out of the Fraser Valley, but operating primarily in northern B.C., that has resulted in the arrests of several people, the execution of several search warrants, and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of illegal and potentially deadly drugs.
On the morning of February 26th, 2015, the CFSEU-BC, again with the help of the RCMP’s LMD ERT, executed two simultaneous search warrants on residences in Chilliwack, one in the 45500 block of McIntosh Drive believed to be a stash house and the other, a residence of one of the suspects, in the 8800 block of Nowell Street.
No one was found at the McIntosh Drive residence and two people, a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, were at the Nowell Street address and were arrested.
Later on February 26th, the CFSEU-BC members executed an additional three search warrants for storage lockers in Chilliwack. Two men, one 22-years-old and one 24-years-old, were
arrested as they left one of the units, and another 22-year-old man was arrested as he came to another one of the storage units.
All five were later released from custody, with charges pending, as the examination of the drugs and forensic analysis of all of the items seized takes place. As a result of the evidence obtained, more arrests are likely in the coming months.
During the execution of the five search warrants on February 26, 2015 by the CFSEU-BC investigators, the following items were seized:
- 4.559 kg of marijuana [estimated street value $12,000]
- 1.669 kg of crystal methamphetamine [estimated street value $40,000]
- 709.1 g of crystal MDMA [estimated street value $4,000]
- 324.1 g of crack cocaine [estimated street value $18,500]
- 2.588 kg of powder cocaine [estimated street value $125,000]
- 2.136 kg of Fentanyl powder [estimated street value $284,800]
- 12.83 kg of Fentanyl pills (approximately 43,000 pills) [estimated street value between $3.44 million and $4.3 million @ $80-$100/pill street value in northern B.C.]
- 56.777 kg Phenacetin (used as a cocaine cutting/buffing agent) [estimated street value $114,000]
- 54 ‘tubs’ of MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane (used as a cocaine cutting/buffing agent) [estimated street value $1,300]
- 3 Norinco SKS 7.62 mm semi-automatic rifles
- 1 prohibited magazine
- 2 Lucznik BRS99 9 mm sub-machine guns equipped with sound suppressors and with magazines
- 1 Smith and Wesson M&P 9 mm semi-automatic handgun with two magazines and ammunition
- 1 Smith and Wesson 66 .357 cal revolver
- 1 Norinco 54-1 7.62 mm semi-automatic handgun
- 6 boxes of various calibres of ammunition
The total street value of all of the drugs together, from the November and February searches, is estimated to be $5,155,000.00.
It is believed that this Chilliwack-based criminal cell operated the overwhelming majority of their alleged drug trafficking activities in cities and towns from Williams Lake to as far north as Fort St John and Dawson Creek. Evidence also suggests that they have supplied the local Chilliwack drug markets. Those arrested have yet to be charged.
“This investigation and the subsequent seizures will likely have a significant disruptive effect on this group’s ability to conduct crime in B.C.’s central and north regions and put people at risk,” says the CFSEU-BC spokesperson, Sergeant Lindsey Houghton. “We have all heard of the dangers that drugs like Fentanyl pose to users and we are extremely pleased that we could make B.C.’s streets safer.”
“It is more important now than ever that law enforcement take effective action to interrupt the distribution of deadly drugs like Fentanyl,” says Sergeant Laurie White of RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime. “Effective policing strategies must include law enforcement partnerships focused on the disruption of illegal activities as well as the implementation of educational initiatives aimed at increasing public awareness.”
The CFSEU-BC would like to thank the RCMP’s Federal Clan Lab Team, LMD ERT, and Upper Fraser Valley Regional District Detachment for their help and support in this investigation.
Fentanyl, is a synthetic opioid or painkiller similar to heroin, but 50 to 100 times more toxic than other narcotics. There were over 300 drug overdose deaths in B.C. in 2014, almost one-quarter of those were associated to Fentanyl. It has shown up in liquids, powders, and pills and can be masked in virtually any consumable product. Fentanyl-laced marijuana, heroin, oxycodone and party drugs, have resulted in the deaths of many occasional drug users. The drug does not discriminate, as overdoses have been seen in all factions of society.
On March 2nd, 2015, police and health authorities launched Know Your Source? Be Drug Smart, an awareness campaign designed to educate the public about the dangers of Fentanyl, and encourage those who choose to use, to do so with caution. For more information about the dangers of Fentanyl, please visit knowyoursource.ca.
For an audio clip:
CFSEU-BC Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Lindsey Houghton
CFSEU-BC Communications Strategist: Geeta Reddy
Desk: (778) 290-2873
Cell: (604) 499-4199