Huge drug bust in Metro Vancouver nets nearly 700k pills, 8 arrests

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The Vancouver Police Department has released details of a recent major drug bust that led to eight arrests and the seizure of nearly 700,000 pills, large quantities of other drugs, weapons, and vehicles.

“Project Tainted” was a six-month long joint forces operation that honed in on the fentanyl drug trade in Metro Vancouver.

Recent spikes in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths prompted a swift collaboration between the Vancouver Police Department, RCMP Federal Policing and the Burnaby RCMP, notes the VPD.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid or painkiller similar to heroin, but 50 to 100 times more toxic than other narcotics, elaborates the VPD. The drug has been circulating in liquid, powder, and pill form, and can be masked in virtually any consumable product, as well as in a number of other street drugs.

The VPD says that the drug has been the cause of numerous overdoses.

Projected Tainted came to its apex in mid-February, when authorities executed several search warrants, resulting in eight arrests and a staggering list of seized items:

    • 7 vehicles
    • $215,000 cash
    • pill press
    • 13,000 oxycodone
    • 29,000 fentanyl pills
    • 147,000 pills believed to be Alprazolam
    • 503,000 coloured pills (yet to be analyzed)
    • 9.5 kgs of crack cocaine
    • 5.5 kgs of powdered cocaine
    • 19.5 kgs of marijuana
    • 1 kg of methamphetamine
    • 3 kgs of hash
    • .5 kg of heroin
    • 2,200 flaps of heroin
    • various other drugs including steroids and methamphetamine
    • various drug paraphernalia
    • 4 guns
    • 2 replica guns
    • 1 bulletproof vest

As part of their ongoing effort to eradicate the fentanyl trade in Vancouver, the VPD have launched the “Know Your Source?” program targeted at raising awareness of the drug and its perils.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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