RCMP Federal Policing & IHIT dismantle organized crime group; suspects face drug, weapons, and murder conspiracy charges

B.C., Federal Serious and Organized Crime

2024-02-23 11:00 PST

File # 2022-16245

Eight members of a BC-based criminal organization have been charged with numerous drug and weapons related offences, as a result of an investigation by the BC RCMP Federal Policing program. One of the suspects was also arrested by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) for his alleged involvement in a gang-related murder plot.

The main suspects of this investigation are Michael Manpreet Johal, Richard Sen, Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Michael David Rast, and Kevin Moebes.

On the days of February 21st and 23rd, 2024, BC-RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC), and IHIT investigators conducted a coordinated series of raids across the cities of Surrey, Richmond, and Delta; and arrested Richard Sen, Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Kevin Moebes, and Michael David Rast. In addition to the drug and weapons charges, Michael Johal was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

This multijurisdictional transnational organized crime investigation was initially launched by the BC-RCMP’s FSOC-Major Projects Team in September of 2022, that led to 11 search warrants being executed on March 1, 2023. The major multi-agency enforcement action spanned across the cities of Vancouver, North Vancouver, Delta, Richmond, and Surrey; and resulted in significant seizures of numerous types of counterfeit pharmaceutical pills, multiple firearms, cash, electronic devices, large quantities of precursor chemicals, and multi-kilograms of other illicit substances. It also uncovered a sophisticated pill pressing operation at one of the homes in South Surrey, with evidence of large-scale polydrug production activities that involved the mixing of fentanyl and its analogues, into counterfeit pharmaceutical pills.

The analysis of the seized pills also revealed the alarming presence of carfentanil in most of the pressed pills. Carfentanil is a powerful synthetic opioid used as a tranquilizing agent for large animals such as elephants. Carfentanil has 100 times the toxicity of Fentanyl and 10,000 times that of morphine. Due to its lethal level of potency, there is virtually no way, even in a controlled laboratory setting, to safely cut and dilute Carfentanil for use in the illicit drug trade.

5 image collage of seized drugs, pill press dies, and firearms. The top three images are of Counterfeit Adderall, counterfeit Oxycontin, and Counterfeit Oxycocet. The two bottom images are of pill press dies, and 4 illegal firearms

The seizures from all locations yielded a total of 356,000 counterfeit polydrug pills that included Adderall, Xanax, Percocet, OxyContin, and Oxycodone. The vast majority of the pills also contained carfentanil, and a mixture of methamphetamine, Benzodiazepine, heroin, and MDMA.
The seized quantities and makeup of each drug category are as follows:

In addition to the seized counterfeit pills, FSOC investigator discovered 4 illegal firearms, over 1,500 rounds of ammunition, and large quantities of precursor chemicals that seemed to have been prepared for mixing and pill pressing. The seized precursor chemicals included the following:

This raw material could have produced an additional 185,000 fentanyl containing polydrug pills, 28,000 methamphetamine containing pills, and 258,000 MDMA containing pills.

Photo of a pill press lab with mixing machines, drug powder precursor chemicals, pill pressers, and finished counterfeit pills

During the early stages of the investigation, it also became apparent that numerous members of this criminal network were known gang members involved in the gang conflict that has spread across BC, and beyond. This was further validated by evidence linking one of the suspects, Michael Manpreet Johal, to a murder plot; which expanded the FSOC investigation into a joint effort in support of the BC- RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

As the FSOC investigation broadened in scope, it also connected the suspects to an ongoing, yet separate investigation into the activities of an overlapping organized crime network, that was being conducted by the Abbotsford Police Department. The subjects of this investigation included overlapping members of the same criminal network, as well as rival gang members who were allegedly involved in similar offences.

The details of these multifaceted and intertwined investigations provide a glimpse into the complex nature, and interconnectedness of organized crime groups. They also highlight the role of organized crime in fueling the ongoing toxic drug crisis in BC, and the dangers of counterfeit medication laced with potentially lethal carfentanil, that seem indistinguishable from genuine pharmaceuticals.

Source: A/Superintendent Jillian Wellard, Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime – Major Projects team.

Today’s charge was the result of the work completed by the IHIT investigative team, and the critical partnerships we maintain with the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit, and the Abbotsford Police Department. As an integrated unit, we once again benefit from our collaborative work, and intelligence sharing with our RCMP, and municipal partners.

Source: Superintendent Mandeep Mooker, Officer in Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

The combined joint investigations into this criminal network conducted by BC-RCMP FSOC, IHIT, Abbotsford Police Department, and other partner agencies have successfully kept millions of potentially lethal doses of toxic drugs from reaching our communities, and disrupted the ongoing gang conflict that has been jeopardizing the safety of our communities.

If you know anyone who may be struggling with addiction, you can seek assistance through the BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service Line at 1-800-663-1441.

Released by

Cpl. Arash Seyed

Media Relations Officer
Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC)
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, B.C. V3T 6P3
Office: 778-290-4724
Fax: 778-290-6092

Email: bcfederalmedia@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Follow Us:

Date modified: