Final two of six accused plead guilty in massive 2018 Lumby drug lab bust

Final pleas in drug lab bust

The last two of six people accused of running a methamphetamine lab in Lumby pleaded guilty Tuesday.

The charges stem from an RCMP raid on a property on Trinity Valley Road in October 2018, where officers found a “massive clandestine laboratory.”

The lab in the small North Okanagan community was one of the largest clandestine labs that had been found in the province at that time, police said.

Officers found large quantities of drugs, including 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine HCl and 660 grams of fentanyl, along with precursor chemicals and waste materials. Police said the cleanup of the site 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," Supt. Bert Ferreira, officer in charge of the Federal RCMP Border Integrity teams in B.C., said in 2020.

"Mitigating environmental contamination was one of the key factors in the timing of the warrant execution."

It took two years for charges to be laid, or for the police to inform the public of the bust, but in 2020, six people were charged. More than two years later, all six have now pleaded guilty.

While their trial was initially scheduled to begin Monday in Kelowna's B.C. Supreme Court, Trent Fussi and Robyn Bryson instead pleaded guilty on Tuesday to production of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Both were also accused of flight from police from an alleged October 2019 incident, but no pleas have been entered on that charge.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

Fussi and Bryson were the last of their co-accused to plead guilty.

In February 2021, Michael Harvey, Tyson Kopp and Michael Piggott all pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing chemicals and equipment and production of a controlled substance. They were all sentenced to three years in jail.

In September of that same year, Michael McMorris pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of chemicals and equipment and one count of production methamphetamine, and he was also sentenced to three years in prison.

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