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Vancouver police seize $4M worth of illicit drugs from downtown ‘stash houses’ (PHOTOS)

The drugs, which included fentanyl, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepine, were found along with $320,000 in cash

The Vancouver Police Department recently made one of the largest seizures of illicit drugs, money and weapons in the department’s recent history.

Two months ago the VPD announced Taskforce Threshold in response to escalating gang violence in Metro Vancouver. As part of the task force, approximately six weeks ago the VPD’s organized crime section began an investigation, called Project Tache, into a significant drug line in Vancouver.

In late June, police executed two search warrants related to Project Tache in downtown Vancouver in two condo units in two different buildings. Investigators seized about 13 kilograms of fentanyl, 11 kilograms of crystal meth, eight kilograms of benzodiazepine, and five kilograms of cocaine. Altogether the drugs' estimated worth comes in at $4 million. 

Lisa Byrne, superintendent for the VPD, held a press conference Tuesday (July 6) to display the illicit items seized. Piled on three tables were bags of drugs, wads of cash totalling $320,000, a hydraulic press modified to press pills, a .22 calibre rifled and a replica handgun.

Byrne described the operation as organized and commercial in nature.

"These drugs were being packaged and taken via taxi to various locations throughout the city and the Lower Mainland for resale,” Byrne said. “The taxi driver is also being investigated as part of this project.”

A 52-year-old man from Burnaby and a 21-year-old man from Vancouver were arrested, interviewed and released pending further investigation. 

The investigation is ongoing and detectives anticipate recommending charges related to drug trafficking in the coming weeks.