Police in Metro Vancouver have revealed that they have cracked down on a major fentanyl production operation in Burnaby earlier this year.
According to RCMP, a counterfeit oxycontin production facility on the 5900 block of 10th Avenue in Burnaby was dismantled following the execution of a search warrant on January 7.
The lab had the equipment and capacity to produce thousands of pills per day. The Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response seized a commercial nine stage pill press, commercial pill coating and sorting machines, pill counting machine, colouring powders used in pill production, a cocaine press and $35,000 cash.
In addition to the drug production equipment, police found a number of press stamp dies of “CDN 80,” the same stamp found on true oxycontin tablets. Pills recovered at the site marked with “CDN 80” have been confirmed by lab tests to contain fentanyl.
The investigation has resulted in the arrest of 26-year-old Vancouver resident Riley Goodwin, who has been charged with the production of controlled drugs and substances and the possession for the purposes of trafficking.
“Synthetic street drugs are always dangerous and pose a significant risk to public safety,” said Inspector Mike Carlson of the RCMP Federal Policing Program in BC in a statement.
“Highly potent skin permeable drugs are combined into products without safety measures, and the end results place drug users, the general public and first responders at risk.”
Fentanyl is approximately one hundred times more potent than morphine and has been directly linked to a number of hospitalizations and deaths in recent months, including the death of a 17-year-old in Vancouver in early-August. In nearly all cases, individuals thought they were consuming oxycontin, which can easily be substituted by producers and dealers for cheaper drugs like fentanyl.
RCMP began their investigation into a fentanyl production facility after the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a pill press at Vancouver International Airport’s air cargo facilities in November 2014.
B.C. RCMP officer explains the equipment found at the Burnaby fentanyl lab.