Fentanyl lab and drug ring broken up, Coquitlam RCMP say

Tri-City News staff

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A Coquitlam drug trafficking ring dealing in deadly fentanyl has been eradicated, Coquitlam RCMP say, after police raided a Burnaby drug lab and a precursor chemical warehouse in Port Coquitlam late last month and arrested two men.

“We feel that it’s important that people know that we are doing this sort of work since the lab has been dismantled now,” said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said Coquitlam police learned of the fentanyl trafficking ring operating in the community in late 2017 and, after obtaining search warrants, gained entry into two Burnaby locations, including an apartment in the 6500 Block of Nelson Avenue, and a warehouse in the 1600 block of Broadway Street in Port Coquitlam.

The search and seizure took place Friday, June 29, with RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team in full hazmat gear removing fentanyl, drug-making equipment in Burnaby and precursor chemicals in PoCo.

“They go in and very carefully isolate and take down the chemicals,” McLaughlin said.

Special clean-up by a civilian team will do a final cleaning, he said.

It’s not known how much of the synthetic opiate was found or could be produced because Health Canada is still reviewing a report from the lab.

Still, McLaughlin views the take-down as a win in efforts to clamp down on the drug, which has been blamed for 80% of illicit opioid drug deaths.

The first suspect, a 35-year-old Burnaby man, faces potential charges related to drug trafficking and has been released pending a full report to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. The second suspect, a 26-year-old Burnaby man, is in custody after having his parole revoked; he also faces new potential charges related to drug trafficking.

People with information about similar drug labs, are asked to call police. The Coquitlam RCMP non-emergency number is 604-945-1550. Anonymous tips can be given to Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (1-800-222-TIPS) or visit www.solvecrime.ca

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