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Vancouver police seize $3M in drugs, say crime groups have ‘adapted’ to COVID-19 crisis

Police announced the seizure of more than 350 kilograms of street drugs with an estimated street value of $3 million following a four-month investigation into the flow of illicit opioids into Metro Vancouver.

Police say the seizure highlights that the COVID-19 crisis does not appear to have impacted the city’s drug trade.

“Judging by the amount of drugs we have in front of us today, they’ve adapted pretty well,” Insp. Bill Spearn said.

Investigators executed five search warrants on April 29, four in southeast Vancouver and one in Richmond.

Police seized 20 kilograms of what is believed to be fentanyl, one kilogram of cocaine, six kilograms of methamphetamine, 13 kilograms of cannabis shatter, 320 kilograms of cannabis bud, and 26 kilograms of cutting agent.

Police also seized eight 9mm semi-automatic handguns.

Eight people were arrested and later released without charges pending further investigation. Police expect charges to be recommended in the coming months.

Spearn says despite the COVID-19 crisis, drugs are still making their way to city streets.

“A lot of it is still coming in through the ports, still coming in through the borders but also a lot of it could be produced here locally,” he said.

“That’s always been a concern of ours is that once you shut down those smuggling routes then what you start to see is domestic production.”

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