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Drug investigators conduct multi-city raid in Lower Mainland; probing possible illicit labs

Search warrants executed in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam
A police incident along 248 Street in Maple Ridge on Wednesday, Aug. 17. (Brandon Tucker/The News)

A number of search warrants were executed by RCMP in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam on Wednesday in connection with an ongoing illicit drug production investigation.

In Maple Ridge, 248 Street was shut down north of Dewdney Trunk Road from Marshall Avenue to 128 Avenue as the BC RCMP Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team converged on a property.

This was the only location in Maple Ridge, while the other three search warrants were executed in Coquitlam, said Sgt. Kris Clark with the Federal Serious Organized Crime Initiative.

Clark explained that it is still early in the investigation, so few details could be released.

There were several arrests made, he said, although he could not say how many people were arrested, whether arrests were made at each site, or the majority at a single site. No charges have been laid as of yet, he said.

The CLEAR Team deals with toxic waste byproducts from the production of synthetic illegal drugs, explained Clark, and will likely be at the Maple Ridge property for several days.

“They are equipped to mitigate the risk to the public and the environment,” he said.

It is unclear, as of yet, if there has been any environmental damage at the site in Maple Ridge.

Typically, though, clandestine labs are run in slightly rural areas, noted Clark.

Clark added that it takes time to process whatever chemicals police find on scene and expects the investigation to take weeks, possibly months.

READ MORE: Large police presence in Maple Ridge

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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