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Six arrested in Richmond after drug labs busted

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:39 PST, Wed November 18, 2020

Six people were arrested in Richmond in connection to clandestine drug labs found by police last month.

Richmond RCMP executed multiple search warrants on Oct. 28 after an investigation of the group responsible for the alleged laboratories that began in March.

“Over the last eight months, Richmond RCMP organized crime unit, along with the assistance of multiple Richmond RCMP investigative units, have been called upon to spend countless hours to bring the project to this point,” said Cst. Kenneth Lau. “As a result of their meticulous work, they uncovered three locations with suspected drug manufacturing labs, all within the city of Richmond.”

The search warrants were executed with assistance from the federal RCMP clandestine lab enforcement and response team, with Richmond Fire-Rescue’s HAZMAT team, chemists from Health Canada, and paramedics with BC Emergency Health Services as other partnering agencies on hand to ensure the safe dismantling of the operations. The size of the discovered operations resulted in the properties being held for five days while the labs were being dismantled.

“These types of searches need to be carefully planned and coordinated due to the potentially hazardous items typically found at these locations to ensure public and police safety is not jeopardized,” said Insp. Michael Cohee, officer-in-charge of investigative services. “This group was a priority of the Richmond RCMP and the dismantling of these labs will result in a significant disruption of organized crime in the city of Richmond.”

The searches at the three properties yielded significant amounts of illicit street drugs, pill presses, and firearms. Items seized include suspected methamphetamine, suspected fentanyl, cannabis, three pill presses and six firearms. Investigators also recovered cash and high-end items suspected to be proceeds of crime. The complex investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending.

Richmond RCMP are committed to locating and dismantling any potential clandestine labs operating within our city. The public’s assistance is critical in helping identify a potential location for such operations. Some signs to watch for are:

  • the occupants appear secretive, unfriendly, and are either always home or never home
  • the occupants bring in unusual items into the residences such as buckets of chemicals, pill presses, laboratory glassware or an unusual amount of the same cookware (pots)
  • the premises have been outfitted with expensive security measures or the occupants are paranoid about who has seen them
  • there are strong smells of chemical odours such as the sharp smell of solvents and acids
  • the garbage is unusual; such as pots or chemical containers with labels removed

Anyone with further information about this investigation or other criminal activity is asked to contact the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, or if you wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or at www.solvecrime.ca.

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