RCMP bust drug lab with enough fentanyl chemicals to produce '13 million fatal doses' per week

B.C. RCMP successfully raided a Port Coquitlam warehouse, seizing drugs and chemicals that would have otherwise ended up being sold on the streets.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

B.C. RCMP successfully raided a Port Coquitlam warehouse on April 19th, seizing drugs and chemicals that would have otherwise ended up being sold on the streets.

As Global News reports, officers and members of the federal Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team uncovered a "sophisticated laboratory setup", with "37 kg of precursor chemicals" for the production of fentanyl near the 1900 block of McLean Avenue.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin, has wreaked havoc in British Columbia. Between 2018 and 2020, it accounted for 87.3% of illicit-drug-related deaths.

According to Global News, "police estimated the lab was capable of producing up to 26 kg — or 13 million fatal doses — of pure fentanyl every week."

Officers touted the drug bust as something positive, however Karen Ward, a drug policy adviser for the City of Vancouver, suggested that "removing that quantity of fentanyl from circulation will result in street drugs ... of even more uncertain and mixed composition, potentially leading to fatal overdoses."

“It doesn’t really end when you seize product in a market of synthetic drugs", Ward added. "It will be replaced immediately by other synthetic drugs, substances of different composition."

She also stated that the seizure could "add fuel to the gang conflict, as criminals compete to take over the territory held by whoever lost the lab, or retaliated for unpaid debts related to the seized product."

There have been calls for B.C. to implement a safe-supply program, wherein users would be given access to drugs that are tested before use.


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