A trio of Lower Mainland men were each sentenced to three years in jail for helping to operate a massive drug lab in Lumby.
Police descended on the clandestine lab on a Trinity Valley Road property in 2018, where they found close to 100 kilograms of chemicals used to make methamphetamine and hundreds of litres of solutions containing methamphetamine, as well as 660 grams of fentanyl — a highly potent substance that’s been a scourge throughout B.C.’s opioid crisis.
Charges were laid against six individuals in 2020, at which time police said the drug lab was among the biggest ever discovered in the province, and contained barrels of a synthetic waste byproduct that posed “a significant risk to the local farms and residents living in the area,” according to Supt. Bert Ferreira, Officer in Charge of the Federal RCMP Border Integrity teams in BC.
Michael Harvey (46), Tyson Kopp (36) and Michael Piggott (46) all pleaded guilty to two charges related to methamphetamine production: possession of ephedrine while knowing it would be used to produce meth and producing a controlled substance.
The trio’s guilty pleas were entered in Kelowna provincial court earlier this year, but their sentence hearing took place in Vancouver Tuesday, April 20.
As the Crown counsel for the matter told the Morning Star, the Kelowna court allowed the hearing to take place in Vancouver as a public health decision, as the three accused and their lawyers were all from the Lower Mainland.
“The view was we shouldn’t be descending on another health authority,” counsel said.
A joint submission was presented and agreed to by the presiding judge. Other charges related to fentanyl were stayed as a result of a plea bargain.
The other three accused – Robyn Bryson, Trent Fussi and Michael McMorris – will appear in Kelowna court Tuesday, April 27, to fix a date for a subsequent hearing.