Sassafras oil used to make ecstasy, not candles at Ottawa business, RCMP says

The RCMP has made a second bust in less than a week in eastern Ontario as the force tries to tackle the manufacturing of ecstasy.

RCMP busts 'Pebble Candles' finding 1,500 kg of sassafras oil, plus 1,000 kg of Helionix

These barrels of sassafras oil were seized by the RCMP as they allege the oil was used to make ecstasy, not candles. (Photo supplied by RCMP)

The RCMP has raided an east Ottawa candle-making business they allege bought oils for the production of MDMA, or ecstasy, instead of candles.

On Thursday, an RCMP news release said the Ottawa detachment raided two businesses, two homes, two storage facilities and two vehicles as part of project "ONatural," a joint operation between the RCMP and Ontario Provincial Police.

Police said a "suspicious transaction" of sassafras oil was brought to their attention. The oil is used in the manufacturing of Methylenedioxy-Methamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy.

The oil had been legally obtained by a business in the east Ottawa suburb of Cumberland called "Pebble Candles," the release said, but was not being used to make candles.

The RCMP seized 1,500 kilograms of sassafras oil and 1,000 kilograms of Helionix, used to make a variation of ecstasy called Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).

2nd raid in same investigation

The amount of sassafras oil could make 4.2 million tablets of MDMA, while the Helionix could lead to 2.65 million tablets of MDA, police said. The tablets have a street value of $20 each.

These barrels of sassafras oil, plus some Helionix to the left, were found in a storage container in Cumberland, an east Ottawa suburb. (Photo supplied by the RCMP)
The alleged director of Pebble Candles, a 48-year-old Ottawa man, was arrested and charged with drug-related offences. He is scheduled for a bail hearing on Friday at the Ottawa courthouse.

A 34-year-old Gatineau man and a 38-year-old man from Montague, Ont., charged after a related raid last weekend in Montague Township, remain in custody pending bail hearings.

That raid found more than 100 kilograms of MDMA, as well as weapons, cash, chemicals and equipment. The ingredients had a potential yield of 1.8 million MDMA pills and 2.6 million MDA pills, according to the RCMP.

The investigation continues.