Charges approved after huge drug lab bust in Lumby in 2018

Huge drug lab busted

A huge drug lab bust in Lumby in 2018 has now resulted in six people being charged with illicit production of synthetic drugs, while two others are on the run, police announced Monday.

On Oct. 19, 2018 police carried out a search warrant on a Trinity Valley Road property, where they found a "massive clandestine laboratory." Large quantities of drugs, precursor chemicals and waste materials were found.

Police say they recovered approximately 48 kilograms of ephedrine HCl, 50 kilograms of solutions containing ephedrine HCl, 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine HCl, 147 gallons (556 litres) of solutions containing methamphetamine, 10 kilograms of 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP), 2.95 kilograms of nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP), 660 grams of fentanyl and 124.7 litres of solutions containing both fentanyl and ANPP.

Police say ANPP is a direct precursor to fentanyl, and NPP is an androgen and anabolic steroid.

"Illegally produced fentanyl has been found in an increased number of overdose deaths in B.C.," says Sgt. Kris Clark, media relations officer for the Federal Serious & Organized Crime Division.

"Clandestine laboratories like this are fuelling this health crisis. Clandestine laboratories not only produce synthetic drugs under no safety standards, but they also produce a significant amounts of waste materials. That waste can contaminate the environment and cause immeasurable health risks to the public."

RCMP say the lab was one of the largest in the province, and the specialized hazardous waste removal and disposal cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"In this instance, there was a very large amount of synthetic waste by-product that had yet to be disposed, which posed a significant risk to the local farms and residents living in the area," says Supt. Bert Ferreira, officer in charge of the Federal RCMP Border Integrity teams in B.C. "Mitigating environmental contamination was one of the key factors in the timing of the warrant execution."

Five B.C. men and one Alberta man now face several counts of unlawfully possessing chemicals and equipment, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (methamphetamine and fentanyl) and production of a controlled substance (methamphetamine and fentanyl).

Michael McMorris, Michael Harvey, Tyson Kopp and Michael Piggott are in police custody, while Robyn Bryson and Trent Fussi are still at large. Bryson and Fussi both face an extra charge of flight from police. The others are expected to appear in Kelowna courts on Oct. 27.

"Synthetic drug production, including fentanyl and methamphetamine, is recognized as one of the highest threats to national public safety," says Clark. "The RCMP, along with law enforcement partners across Canada, have collectively taken a stance to target synthetic drugs and related organized crime groups."

Anyone with information on Bryson and Fussi's whereabouts, is urged to call their local police detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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