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Judge denies bail to man charged after fentanyl, firearms found in Burnaby condo

Brent William Van Buskirk, 35, was arrested during Project Juliet, a combined forces operation targeting an 'organized crime group' operating in Victoria and the Lower Mainland, according to police. Search warrants turned up 20 firearms and $30M worth of fentanyl and other drugs.
Police executed a search warrant at the Brentwood One tower in November 2020 as part of a multi-city investigation into an "organized crime group" allegedly trafficking drugs in Victoria and the Lower Mainland, according to the province's anti-gang agency.

A 35-year-old man facing a slew of drug and weapons charges connected to a raid on a Burnaby condo in November 2020 has been denied bail.

Brent William Van Buskirk was charged in February with eight counts of possessing a prohibited firearm, two counts of possessing a firearm without a licence and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, according to court documents. 

The charges are linked to Project Juliet, a joint operation between the Victoria Police Department and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the province’s anti-gang agency, according to CFSEU news releases. 

Victoria police had identified an “organized crime group” trafficking fentanyl in Victoria, according to CFSEU, and an investigation determined the group also had ties to the Lower Mainland.

Coordinated raids in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby on Nov. 17, 2020 and another search warrant executed in December of that year turned up $30 million worth of fentanyl and other drugs, as well as a total of 20 firearms, ranging from pistols and shotguns to assault style rifles, according to CFSEU.

Several of the rifles were modified to be fully automatic, and many of the firearms had serial numbers removed, police said.

Two of Van Buskirk’s drug charges and all 10 of the weapons charges against him are alleged to have occurred in Burnaby, according to court records.

CFSEU said anti-gang officers executed a search warrant at a multi-unit residential building in the 4500 block of Halifax Way on Nov. 17, 2020 and arrested a suspect there.

In a February 2022 news release announcing the charges against Van Buskirk and two co-accused, CFSEU noted Van Buskirk had been on parole for a 2004 murder conviction when he was arrested during Project Juliet.

“Van Buskirk had his parole revoked due to his arrest and is being held in custody awaiting the judicial process,” stated the news release.

Van Buskirk was in Vancouver Supreme Court this month for a three-day bail hearing.

On Monday, however, Justice Joseph Doyle denied his bail.

Because of a publication ban, the NOW can’t publish the judge’s reasons or any information presented during the bail hearing.

Van Buskirk will remain in custody pending his trial.

Trial dates have yet to be set, according to the court registry.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
Email [email protected]