Seized precursors could have made 262 million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl
Federal Serious and Organized Crime
2023-03-16 12:45 PDT
BC RCMP Federal Policing has arrested two individuals, and seized a massive cache of precursor chemicals capable of producing 262 million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl, and 3 million dosages of MDMA (ecstasy).
The 22 month-long investigation by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime program (FSOC) was launched after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) intercepted 54 boxes of liquid gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in April of 2021. GBL is classified as a Class A precursor, in Part I of Schedule VI of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). With the use of advanced investigative tools and techniques, BC RCMP FSOC investigators were able to identify an individual believed to be associated to the GBL importation, in addition to the smuggling of other precursor chemicals into Canada.
On February 23, 2023, the BC RCMP FSOC Border Integrity unit simultaneously executed a series of search warrants across Metro Vancouver, and arrested a man and a woman for their alleged involvement in the importation of synthetic drug precursor chemicals. The coordinated multijurisdictional enforcement action included the BC RCMP Federal Policing Clandestine Laboratories Enforcement and Response team (CLEAR), the BC RCMP Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team (LMD-ERT), The Vancouver Police Department Emergency Response Team (VPD-ERT), Richmond RCMP detachment, Burnaby RCMP detachment, and a number of other BC RCMP Federal Policing units.
The searches of two residences in Vancouver and Burnaby and three storage facilities in the cities of Vancouver and Surrey, led to the discovery of over 600 kilograms of the fentanyl precursor, 4-Piperidone monohydrate hydrochloride, valued at $600,000.00; and over 200 kilograms of an MDMA (ecstasy) precursor, Piperonyl Methyl Ketone ethyl glycidate (PMK), valued at $120,000.00.
The amount of precursor chemicals seized at these locations could have produced over 525 kilograms of fentanyl, and over 150 kilograms of MDMA, when combined with other chemicals required for their synthesis. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
a 2 milligram dose of fentanyl can prove lethal for some individuals; therefore, the seized 4-Piperidone in this case could have produced over 262 million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl.
In order to evade detection at ports of entry and defeat law enforcement agencies, organized crime groups are increasingly resorting to the importation of precursor chemicals into Canada, and manufacturing the synthetic drugs in local illicit drug labs. Therefore, our highly trained FSOC investigators are also continuously adapting, and implementing cutting edge technology, and investigative techniques, to combat these sophisticated criminal organizations. Said, A/ Superintendent. Jim Leonard, Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime Border Integrity Program.
In addition to the precursor chemicals seized at these locations, other items of interest seized were 3 high end vehicles, 2 luxury watches, electronic goods, cash, dried cannabis, and an assortment of other chemicals used in the manufacturing of illicit synthetic drugs, which are commonly used in other every day products and not regulated/scheduled.
Our joint effort with the RCMP has led to the removal of narcotics from Canadian communities and the loss of revenue for organized crime. Our border services officers, intelligence officers and analysts are dedicated to keeping Canadians safe. – Nina Patel, Regional Director General, CBSA Pacific Region
In 2022, the toxic drug supply claimed nearly 2,300 lives, where illicit fentanyl (alone or in combination with other drugs) accounted for approximately 82% of the fatalities. Committed to stopping the deadly toxic drug pipeline, members of BC RCMP Federal Policing and the CBSA continue their collaborative efforts in defending Canada’s borders against the most serious threats against posed by transnational organized crime networks.
Speaking Notes - A/Comm Will Ng
- Good morning,
- I am Assistant Commissioner Will Ng, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Criminal Operations, Federal Investigative Services and Organized Crime.
- We are here to provide you with details on two separate major enforcement actions, led by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime program - Border Integrity unit, and Major Projects team.
- In 2022, nearly 2,300 British Columbians lost their lives to the toxic drug supply, with over 80 percent of fatalities being attributed to the toxic supply of synthetic opioids.
- We have now entered the eighth year of BC’s Public Health Emergency, brought about by the ever increasing supply of toxic drugs into the province.
- BC RCMP Federal Policing is responsible for protecting Canadians from the most serious criminal threats posed by Transnational Organized Crime, and other entities that threaten our National Security.
- Committed to protecting our communities from dangers posed by these sophisticated criminal networks, the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime program continues to work closely with our domestic, and international partners, to disrupt, and dismantle these organized crime groups, before they cause more harm to our society.
- As a result of these two major investigations, hundreds of millions of potentially lethal doses of toxic drugs have been kept out of our communities; having possibly saved thousands of lives, and spared an untold number from having to grieve the loss of their loved ones.
- Thank you.
Speaking Notes - Supt. David Teboul
- Good morning, I am Superintendent David Teboul, Acting Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Federal Policing program.
- Thank you for joining us today, as we announce the successful outcome of two recent major operations by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime program – F.S.O.C for short.
- Over the last several weeks, the BC RCMP FSOC Border Integrity Unit, and Major Projects team, led a number of major enforcement actions against several sophisticated Transnational Organized Crime groups across Metro Vancouver.
- These investigations are a part of the BC RCMP Federal Policing program’s multi-pronged approach to combatting organize crime elements, that are responsible for the importation, production, and distribution of the toxic drug supply that has killed thousands of British Columbians.
- With the assistance of our domestic and international partners, these separate investigations led to the execution of over a dozen search warrants across Metro Vancouver, namely, in the cities of Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, and North Vancouver.
- They culminated in the arrest of 6 individuals, and the seizure of large caches of precursor chemicals capable of producing several hundred million potentially lethal doses of fentanyl, and millions of doses of MDMA.
- This is one of the largest and most sophisticated pill pressing operations ever taken down in BC and was capable of producing approximately 60,000 pills an hour;
- The seizures also included approximately 1 million pills, numerous firearms, cash, luxury goods, and other illicit drugs.
- The investigation and successful search Warrant executions would not have been possible without the significant resources of RCMP Federal Policing and the assistance of our Municipal Police Partners;
- Although these investigations are ongoing, the enforcement actions taken by the BC RCMP Federal Policing program and our partner agencies, have undoubtedly caused a major blow to the organized crime groups involved.
- And by keeping the millions of potentially lethal doses of toxic drugs out of our communities, we have once again demonstrated our unwavering commitment to protecting Canadians from the most serious criminal elements facing our nation.
- Thank you.
BC RCMP Communication Services
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