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Vancouver police disrupt Quebec gang, seize massive drug haul

Officers also seized two handguns and more than $150,000 in cash.

Five men and possibly more connected with a Quebec gang are facing charges after Vancouver police seized 24 kilograms of drugs along with guns and cash.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said the seizure came after a 14-month-long investigation into Zone 43, a gang the VPD said is originally from Quebec but has established operations in Metro Vancouver.

The VPD said in May investigators executed five search warrants: three in Vancouver and two in Burnaby. 

Officers recovered more than 24 kilograms of drugs, including seven kilograms of fentanyl, 11 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of methamphetamine, and four kilograms of mixing agents. Those cutting agents could include benzodiazepines, a nervous system depressant, said Insp. Phil Heard of the VPD’s Organized Crime Section.

Officers also seized two handguns and more than $150,000 in cash.

“These impressive results are the direct result of the dedication and professionalism of our investigators and civilian professionals. Our staff is committed to combating organized crime groups operating in our community, especially those from other jurisdictions that seek to establish operations in Vancouver and profit from the sale of toxic drugs,” Heard said.

Heard said the gang had been working in cooperation with the Wolfpack gang, an organized crime group that has been active across Canada.

And, he said, despite the investigation and arrests, he believes the gang still has people operating in the Vancouver area.

"I still believe they pose a very serious risk to the public," he told reporters.

Moreover, he said, Zone 43 has allegedly been involved in conflicts with rival gangs in Montreal.

"We have seen some very serious acts of violence," he said.

With Wolfpack members facing charges or associates behind bars, Heard said the chance of other criminal groups coming from outside to move in on their market is not unexpected. And, it could lead to gang conflict.

Police said five men were arrested in the latest bust. Those men, and others identified in the investigation, will face numerous drug and criminal charges when the investigation is complete. The five have been released pending further investigation, Heard said.