British Columbia

300 kg of ecstasy found at Richmond 'super lab,' allege RCMP

An illegal "super lab" discovered by police last Friday was one of the largest clandestine drug labs ever found in Canada, and possibly the world, RCMP say.
Police allege they seized one million ecstasy tablets during the raid on the residence on River Road in Richmond. ((CBC))

An illegal "super lab" busted by police last week was one of the largest clandestine drug labs ever found in Canada, and possibly the world, according to RCMP.

"This lab had well over 100 kilos of crystallized product, not in pill form, and over 200 kilograms of pressed tablets," RCMP Insp. Brian Cantera, who's in charge of the RCMP Greater Vancouver drug section, said Thursday morning.

RCMP define a super lab as a clandestine lab capable of producing more than 10 kilograms of ecstasy.

The RCMP raided the home at 21880 River Rd. in Richmond the morning of June 20.

Police found numerous automatic weapons and explosives in the home, along with two fully automatic pill presses capable of making 12,000 pills an hour, and other equipment for manufacturing drugs.

Police blocked off the area around the Richmond home for several days for the drug investigation. ((Global TV))

The five people arrested in relation to the Friday drug lab raid were charged with various drug offences and scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Police alleged they were all trusted members of a prominent organized crime group, but would not say which one.

"These types of labs are linked to organized crime, they are usually operated by trusted members of their organization and the profits in the sale of these chemically produced illicit drugs are extreme," said Cantera.

The one million ecstasy pills found at the lab were destined for export, alleged police, who said Canada has already developed an international reputation as a major exporter of the drug.

There was also considerable environmental damage stemming from the lab, said police.

"The environmental damage in this particular investigation is undisputable. Albeit in the early stages of investigation at this time, there would appear to be evidence of soil contamination and this property is located next to conservatory bog land and the Fraser River," said Cantera.

As a result of the River Road bust, the RCMP also raided a second residence on at 8440 Odlin Cres., also in Richmond, on Monday evening.

Police also alleged they found explosives in that home and a marijuana grow operation. Ten nearby homes were evacuated during the raid.