RCMP discover drug lab in Tumbler RIdge

Trent Ernst, Editor

On Thursday, November 10, the Tumbler Ridge RCMP received a report of a suspected drug lab on Peace River Crescent.

The house, which was vacant at the time, was a rental property.

The people in charge of the property went to check on it and discovered signs that a drug lab had been set up in the property. The RCMP was called in, and verified that the evidence there was in keeping with a drug lab.

The residence was secured, and the police called in drug units that specialize in dealing with synthetic drugs to safely dismantle the lab, including the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR).

The lab was most likely manufacturing fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a manufactured opioid, much stronger than morphine. In the last couple of years, it has become far more popular as a street drug, despite its relative danger. As little as 2 mg of fentanyl can kill a healthy adult.

In the first half of 2016, 371 people died due to drug overdoses, an increase of nearly 75 percent from 2015. Fentanyl accounts for, or played a part in 60 percent of those deaths, making it by far the most dangerous street drug in BC. Fentanyl was the drug that killed the musician Prince.

People who use the drug say that fentanyl highs are similar to those of heroin, though not as euphoric. However, fentanyl can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin, and is more dangerous than heroin to users. Fentanyl is used orally, smoked, snorted, or injected. Fentanyl is sometimes sold as, or confused for, heroin, which may be one reason there are so many overdoses.

The RCMP are asking that if anyone has any information on this matter or know of anyone involved in this is asked to call the Tumbler Ridge RCMP at 250-242-5252 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477