Six individuals have been charged for operating a clandestine drug laboratory following an eight-month investigation by the RCMP in Richmond, B.C.
A Dec. 22 statement said the Public Prosecution Service of Canada has laid charges against six individuals arrested on Oct. 28, 2020, when the Richmond RCMP Organized Crime Unit executed several search warrants in local residences suspected to be covert drug labs.
“These types of investigations are extremely complex and officers spend countless hours on advancing these major crime investigations,” said Inspector Michael Cohee, officer-in-charge of investigative services.
“This speaks to the level of commitment our officers have to our community and ensuring public safety in Richmond. I am so proud of the officers involved in this investigation.”
The police seized roughly 8.5 kg of fentanyl, 28 kg of methamphetamine, 2.5 kg of fentanyl/heroin mix, one kg of MDMA, 10 kg of illicit cannabis, and 58 kg of ephedrine over the course of the investigation.
Five carbine-style rifles, three pistols, five sound suppressors, and three pill presses were also seized.
In addition, police seized over $200,000, 70 silver bars, five vehicles, four luxury watches, and 23 mobile phones, all of which were submitted to the British Columbia Civil Forfeiture Office.
Those charged include Huang-Wei “Anthony” Hsu, Chanel Hsu, Kim World Huang, Yung En “Grace” Yang, Zekun Cao, and Lui Yuan Song.
Huang-Wei Hsu was charged with 12 offences, including possessing ephedrine with the intent to use it to produce a controlled substance, possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, producing methamphetamine, possessing a non-restricted firearm, possessing a loaded restricted firearm, possessing a firearm knowing the serial number has been altered, and possessing a conducted energy weapon.
Chanel Hsu was charged with three offences: possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, producing methamphetamine, and possessing ephedrine.
Kim World Huang and Yung En Yang both face 15 charges, including producing, possessing, or trafficking controlled substances such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and ketamine. They also face charges for possessing a loaded prohibited firearm, possessing a loaded restricted firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing a non-restricted firearm, and possessing prohibited devices.
Both Zekun Cao and Liu Yuan Song have been charged with one offence each of possessing ephedrine with the intent to use it to produce a controlled substance.
The six were arrested after the RCMP raided a series of locations connected to three Richmond addresses that were suspected to be synthetic drug labs, Richmond News reported.
The police noted that clandestine labs and the illegal manufacturing of illicit drugs pose “a significant threat” to public health and safety, including a risk of fire, explosions, and toxic chemical waste that can contaminate the environment.
The police said signs of illegal clandestine labs in residences include:
- The occupants appear secretive, unfriendly, and are either always home or never home.
- The occupants bring unusual items into the residences such as buckets of chemicals, pill presses, laboratory glassware, or an unusual amount of the same cookware (pots).
- The premises have been outfitted with expensive security measures or the occupants are paranoid about who has seen them.
- There are strong smells of chemical odors such as the sharp smell of solvents and acids.
- The garbage is unusual, such as pots or chemical containers with labels removed.
Anyone who would like to report a suspected clandestine lab or other criminal activities can call the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, if they wish to remain anonymous.