Six are facing drug charges after police uncovered one of the province’s biggest clandestine lab two years ago in Lumby, but two men are still at large.
A heavy police presence descended on the property and executed a search warrant on the Trinity Valley Road property Oct. 19, 2018, resulting in five arrests and locating large quantities of drugs, precursor chemicals and waste materials.
Around 48 kilograms of ephedrine HCI, 50 kg of solutions containing ephedrine HCI, 4.5 kg of methamphetamine HCI, 556 litres of solutions containing methamphetamine and 660 grams of fentanyl and 124.7 L of solutions containing fentanyl and ANPP, a precursor to fentanyl, were seized among others.
Michael McMorris, Robyn Bryson, Trent Fussi, Michael Harvey, Tyson Kopp and Michael Piggott face several counts of possessing chemicals and equipment unlawfully, possession of controlled substances for the purpose of trafficking and production of controlled substances.
Illegally produced fentanyl has increased the number of overdoses in British Columbia and labs, such as the one uncovered in Lumby, are fuelling the health crisis, police said.
“In this instance, there was a very large amount of synthetic waste by-product that had yet to be disposed of which posed a significant risk to the local farms and residents living in the area,” said Supt. Bert Ferreira, Officer in Charge of the Federal RCMP Border Integrity teams in BC.
“Mitigating environmental contamination was one of the key factors in the timing of the warrant execution.”
Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) members, aided by Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR), Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and the Southeast District Emergency Response Team (ERT) executed the search warrant.
The specialized hazardous waste removal and disposal required in this case cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a statement issued Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
McMorris, Harvey, Kopp and Piggott are scheduled to appear in Kelowna Law Courts on Oct. 27, 2020.
Bryson and Fussi are still at a large and have warrants out for their arrest.
Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to contact local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.