British Columbia

Deadly 'blue fentanyl' found during largest drug raid in detachment's history, say Ridge Meadows RCMP

RCMP in Maple Ridge, B.C., say a five-month investigation has ended with an arrest and seizure of the largest illegal drugs and weapons cache in Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment's history.

Police say drug has been linked to multiple overdose deaths throughout the Lower Mainland

Ridge Meadows RCMP say they seized the largest cache of illegal drugs and weapons in detachment history on July 15 which included blue fentanyl. (CBC)

RCMP in Maple Ridge, B.C., say a five-month investigation has ended with an arrest and seizure of the largest illegal drugs and weapons cache in Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment's history.

According to a police statement Thursday, the investigation began in March, when officers started looking into the illicit drug trade in Maple Ridge and Mission, B.C. 

In particular, the RCMP's Street Enforcement Unit started investigating activity related to the drug known as blue fentanyl, which police say has been linked to multiple overdose deaths throughout the Lower Mainland.

On July 15, police raided Maple Ridge and Mission, B.C., homes, and arrested 34-year-old Maple Ridge resident Christopher Leigh Harmes.

Harmes was charged with nine drug- and weapons-related criminal offences.

Large quantity of drugs and $114,439 Cdn seized

"To put this in perspective to the sheer volume of drugs that were seized, this is the equivalent of one potentially lethal dose per person for an entire Vancouver Canucks sold out home game crowd four times over," said Insp. Aaron Paradis.

RCMP found more than three kilograms of suspected blue fentanyl, 2.2 kilograms of suspected meth, 659 grams of suspected cocaine and crack cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of suspected ketamine, as well as more than 800 suspected codeine or morphine pills, the statement said.

They also seized more than $114,000 in cash.

"No community should have this amount of drugs on their streets," the RCMP said in its statement.

Several semi- and fully-automatic weapons were also seized. 

Harmes, who already has been convicted on several other drug-related charges dating back to 2010, appeared in a Port Coquitlam provincial courtroom July 16.

Ridge Meadows RCMP are also recommending another 11 drug-related charges in this investigation.

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