4 men charged after Vancouver police seize guns, drugs in 'significant' bust
Seizure comes after 5-month sting prompted by gun violence, police say
Four Vancouver men have been charged after Vancouver police seized eight guns and more than two kilograms of illegal opioids as part of a five-month sting.
The guns include assault rifles and a sawed-off shotgun, and police say more than half of the drugs contain fentanyl or fentanyl analogues.
Police Supt. Mike Porteous said the guns, drugs and men charged are all believed to be linked to organized crime, gun violence and drug trafficking in the Lower Mainland.
"As you can see, there's been a significant amount of very dangerous weapons that have been taken off the street," Porteous said.
"Looking at these weapons, [I don't think] that anybody has them for going hunting or target shooting."
Fentanyl worth "millions"
Porteous said the seizure and charges are the result of an operation called "Project Tariff" that began in early March after shots were fired at police in a standoff in southeast Vancouver.
Two of the men — Jagraj Mushki Nijjar, 23, and Jaskaran Singh Heer, 22 — were charged with firearm possession offences in March. Two others — Harjot Singh Samra, 21, and Gary Gurpreet Dhillon, 25 — were charged with trafficking offences in early August.
Porteous said the amount of fentanyl seized by Vancouver police has been steadily increasing in recent years as the opioid overdose crisis worsens.
"Two or three years ago, if you'd asked me a question about the prevalence of fentanyl on the streets of Vancouver, I would say, we know it's out there, and sometimes we seize it," Porteous said.
"Now, it's unusual for us not to come across fentanyl in seizures of intravenous-based drugs."
Porteous said it's difficult to estimate the exact street value of the drugs seized but estimates it to be "in the millions."