After months of planning, a joint forces operation has busted a Victoria and Lower Mainland fentanyl supply chain, seizing $30 million in drugs, cash and firearms, and arresting three men.
In June, VicPD’s Strike Force team identified an organized crime group trafficking fentanyl in Victoria. It soon discovered the same group was also trafficking in the Lower Mainland – the base for the fentanyl supply chain.
In August, VicPD partnered with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) and Project Juliet was launched. VicPD focused on Victoria while CFSEU-BC targeted the Lower Mainland.
On Nov. 17, officers conducted a coordinated bust, targeting each suspect.
In Victoria, officers executed four search warrants on three residential locations and one vehicle. The Greater Victoria Response Team (GVERT) arrested one suspect at a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 700-block of Fairfield Road. A second suspect was arrested in a vehicle in the 900-block of Yates Street. Multi-unit residential buildings in the 500-block of Fisgard Avenue and the 1000-block of View Street were also searched. No one was injured during the arrests.
VicPD’s Community Services Division, CFSEU-BC’s Island Team and VicPD’s Strike Force also assisted with the bust.
In total, officers seized more than one kilogram of cocaine, more than two kilograms of high-concentration fentanyl, more than two kilograms of methamphetamine, and evidence of drug re-purposing and packaging for a trafficking operation, including over six kilograms of cutting agents. VicPD also sized a replica assault rifle and $50,000 in cash.
On the Lower Mainland, officers executed five search warrants on three residential locations and two vehicles. The Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) arrested one suspect at a suite in the 4500-block of Halifax Way in Burnaby. A multi-unit residential building in the 1100-block of Seymour Street in Vancouver and a single family residence in the 15000-block if 80th Avenue in Surrey were also searched. No one was injured during the arrests.
Surrey RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department’s Emergency Response Team and Forensic Identification Unit also assisted.
Their search yielded a kilogram of MDMA, two kilograms of methamphetamine, over ten kilograms of high-concentration fentanyl and evidence of drug re-purposing and packaging for a trafficking operation, including over 100 kilograms of cutting agents. Officers also seized a kilogram of Viagra (sildenafil), $335,390 in cash and three luxury vehicles.
CFSEU-BC also seized two sets of body armour, two carbine-style assault rifles, three shotguns and seven pistols with silencers and approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition. They also seized a variety of false identification documents.
On Dec. 11, CFSEU-BC executed an additional search warrant at a storage unit in the 1600-block of Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam and seized two sets of body armour, eights firearms, three silencers, multiple magazines and various types of ammunition.
Of the total 20 firearms officers seized, several had been modified to be fully automatic and many had their serial numbers removed.
The estimated total street value of the drugs is $30 million. Of the bulk fentanyl seized, analysis by Health Canada indicates concentrations between 88 per cent and 90 per cent. Once cut for street level distribution, concentrations were still found to be 13 per cent concentration. Typical street level concentrations range between three and five per cent.
The more than 12 kilograms of fentanyl seized in Project Juliet is enough to supply an estimated 3,965,000 lethal doses.
The investigation remains ongoing. VicPD and CFSEU-BC will be recommending drug trafficking and firearms charges against one man from Calgary, one man from Surrey and one man from Vancouver.
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