Surrey RCMP make ‘significant’ drug seizure, including meth and painkillers

Surrey RCMP said Thursday that it had damaged a “sophisticated” criminal drug enterprise after seizing several kilograms of methamphetamine and painkillers.

With a mountain of the seized product piled up beside her, Cpl. Elenore Sturko said at a press conference that the methamphetamine alone amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars of product that was now off the streets.

“These [announcements] are the ones I love to do, showing the success of our teams here,” she said.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen the effects of illicit drugs in our community,” Sturko added, citing not only the rise in fatal overdoses but also the growing gang conflict in Surrey and other parts of the Lower Mainland.

“By making this seizure, we are reducing the potential for harm among our vulnerable people in the community and impacting the individuals who put the public at risk with their actions.”

Officers found the product after conducting a search warrant on Nov. 29 on two different units at a storage facility in the 7200-block of 132 Street, which was part of an ongoing investigation.

In total, Sturko said six kilograms of methamphetamine were seized, which is the equivalent of roughly 60,000 doses. That was dwarfed by the 227 kilograms of phenacetin, a pain killer police say is used as a cutting agent with cocaine to make it more profitable.

“The quantity seized in this investigation was enough for traffickers to have produced approximately 4.5 million doses of street level cocaine,” she said.

“Phenacetin is also known as ‘super buff,’ and is very valuable in its present form and would be highly sought after by organized criminal groups.”

A pill press seized from one of two storage units in Surrey that police say was used to manufacture lookalike pharmaceuticals.

Sturko said officers also found a large industrial pill press along other equipment and roughly 20 kilograms of chemicals used to manufacture “pharmaceutical lookalikes,” some of which were “extremely potent.” Preliminary tests of residue found on the equipment tested positive for fentanyl, she added.

Police believe the operation is large enough that it may be supplying drugs beyond Surrey’s borders.

No arrests have been made and Sturko wouldn’t comment further on the ongoing investigation.

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