An investigation that led police to seize a kilogram of 90 per cent concentrated fentanyl – approximately 495,000 lethal doses – has also led to the arrest of three people from Surrey.
Victoria police officers, working with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team, arrested two men and one woman, after finding drugs, cash and a loaded handgun in a hidden compartment of a vehicle.
At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Nov. 13, officers stopped a vehicle at Belleville and Government streets after three occupants were identified as organized drug traffickers operating in Victoria. The three people were arrested and officers searched the vehicle.
Inside, an officer located a hidden compartment in the centre console that held a loaded .45 calibre handgun, which police say was accessible to occupants.
Strike Force officers then executed a search warrant on two suites associated with the three suspects at a hotel in the 700-block of Douglas Street. According to police, within each suite, they located evidence of a drug trafficking operation, including fentanyl, cocaine and cash.
The concentration of this fentanyl has not been confirmed.
This investigation is part of a larger, months-long project which Strike Force initiated in July to target organized crime groups trafficking drugs in Victoria and Esquimalt. In October, a separate suspect was arrested in the 0-block of Dallas Road, who police say is also associated with organized drug trafficking. It was during this arrest that police seized one kilogram of 90 per cent concentration fentanyl.
Typically samples of fentanyl contain on average 10 per cent fentanyl. In 2019, only one sample in Canada tested above 75 per cent. In 2020, there have been seven samples testing above 75 per cent concentrate.
As part of this project, Strike Force officers executed a search warrant on Oct. 7 at a suite in a multi-unit residential building in the 700-block of Yates Street. Officers arrested the occupant of the suite for drug trafficking-related offences and seized over $5,000 in cash, along with cocaine and fentanyl with an estimated street value of $55,000.
In total, police are recommending several drug-trafficking-related charges against two men and a woman from Surrey, along with two men and a woman from Vancouver.
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