RCMP bust drug "super lab" in Fraser Valley with 27 million doses of fentanyl

Jan 17 2023, 8:01 pm

A drug lab with enough supplies to make 50 kilograms of fentanyl was busted by police last year, and now they’re looking for three wanted men.

According to a release from the BC RCMP, police prevented nearly “27 million doses of potentially lethal fentanyl from hitting the streets” when they discovered a drug lab.

Three men were charged after they dismantled a drug super lab. “Super” is used to describe “large-scale sophisticated clandestine drug labs with the capability of producing sizable quantities of illicit drugs, that are also often tied to organized crime.”

The BC RCMP Federal Policing Clandestine Laboratories Enforcement and Response team (CLEAR), who target organized crime groups involved in making illicit drugs, executed two search warrants on January 14, 2022, at one property in Surrey and another in Abbotsford.

drugs

BC RCMP

At the Abbotsford site, police found a drug super lab producing fentanyl, MDMA, and cannabis extracts. Police also found a mobile fentanyl lab and two boxed drug labs.

Three suspects have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the operation of the lab: Kevin Gonzales, Jemroi Ibarra, and Duc Phung. They’ve been charged with “multiple drug-related offences,” said police, and are now wanted.

crime

Three men wanted by RCMP: Kevin Asi Gonzales | Jemroi Alunday Ibarra | Duc Quan Phung

The investigation was launched in 2021 and so far has resulted in “the seizure of approximately 36 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 4 kg of pure fentanyl, more than 700 pounds of marihuana bud, approximately $20,000 in cash, and a cache of precursor chemicals for the production of fentanyl.”

Health Canada said the amount of precursor chemicals found in the drug lab could have made 50 kg of pure fentanyl – just two milligrams can be fatal, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Access and availability to toxic drugs is a primary factor in many deaths,” said Superintendent Bert Ferreira, officer in charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime Border Integrity Program.

“These drugs come from unsanctioned, uncontrolled, and profit-driven facilities. Out of the thousands of loved ones lost to the toxic drug supply, it seems especially tragic that many of the perished have been young Canadians who would have otherwise had their entire lives ahead of them.”

According to Health Canada, there were 3,556 apparent opioid toxicity deaths in the first half of 2022, or around 20 deaths per day.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can reach the BC Alcohol & Drug Information Referral Service (ADIRS).

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