Kelowna RCMP assisted by Federal and Provincial RCMP units shut down a clandestine 'super lab' last week.
Earlier this year, the Kelowna RCMP Drug Section and members of the Southeast District Criminal Intelligence Service began an investigation culminating with the execution of three search warrants. During the course of their investigation, police identified three suspect locations, two in Kelowna and one in Westbridge, BC.
On November 21, 2012, the Kelowna RCMP executed a search warrant on a residence on Christian Valley Road in Westbridge. During the search, police located an exothermic reaction MDMA lab (MDMA has become widely known as "ecstasy" ), and caught several occupants on site allegedly in the act of "cooking" both MDMA and its precursors.
A second search was conducted on a storage locker in Kelowna, where police located chemical precursors used in the production of ecstasy (MDMA). In total the team located 3.5 Kilos of MDMA. The third search involved a residence on Chute Lake Road where $85,000 in cash was seized.
Depending on the mix, 3.5 Kilos of MDMA could be used to make up to 200,000 pills. At an average cost of $10 a pill the street value could be $2 million.
The 'E' Division Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response Team was deployed and attended the first two sites for assessment and to conduct the safe dismantling and processing of the scenes.
“Production methods at this level points directly to the involvement of organized crime groups motivated by profit. Targeting these groups is a priority for the Kelowna RCMP, Southeast District and RCMP Federal Policing Services. The Kelowna RCMP and other RCMP support units will continue to combat the trade of illegal drugs as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce the impact of these groups in our communities,” said Insp Rick Flewelling, Operations Support Officer of the Kelowna RCMP.
Precursors and active clan labs pose huge fire risks and potential hazmat situations to the immediate environment, neighbourhood and community, due to the nature of the chemicals used and their toxic by-products. As devastating as this environmental damage can be, it pales in comparison to the lives of both youths and adults that are destroyed by the types of synthetic drugs being produced in clan labs.
Ryan Patrick Novy (32), Alesya Efimenko (29), William Charles Forrest (24) and Bradley Fraser Garth (39) have been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking and Production of a Controlled Substance.
More arrests and further charges may be recommended pending further investigation.
If you suspect drug activity in your neighbourhood, do not investigate, call your local police or, remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.