Police uncover hidden drug lab in Markham house, evacuate nearby homes

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Police uncover ‘clandestine’ drug lab hidden in Markham home
WATCH ABOVE: York Regional Police said they have found a hidden drug lab in a home in Markham. Nearby houses were evacuated and police have not released information on charges. – Jan 12, 2017

Police uncovered a “clandestine” drug lab hidden inside a house in Markham and evacuated homes in the area until it could be dismantled.

York Regional Police raided a house on Holst Avenue Thursday in connection with a theft investigation.

Officers then found what they believed to be a drug lab inside the residence and investigators from the Drugs and Vice Unit attended the scene and confirmed the house was being used as a drug manufacturing laboratory.

READ MORE: 3 charged after ‘drug lab’ discovered at site of house explosion in Markham

Neighbouring homes were evacuated as a precaution and police said residents would remain displaced as officers dismantled the lab.

Police would not say what type of drug was being produced at the property, but confirmed it was not a marijuana grow-op.

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No information has been released on the number of people at the residence or the possibility of charges being laid.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and are reminding residents to call police if they see suspicious activity in their neighbourhood.

“These clandestine drug production labs can pose serious risks, including fires and explosions due to the dangerous nature of chemicals utilized in the production of illicit drugs,” police said in a release.

“Members of the public are asked to report any suspicious odours, unusual storage or stockpiling of chemicals.”

READ MORE: House fire in Markham injuring 6 still under investigation

In March 2016, three people were charged after a drug lab caused a house explosion in Markham.

Police said a 30-year-old man was rushed to hospital with serious injuries and a 26-year-old woman, their three children and a police officer were also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

In that case, police alleged the home was being used as a drug lab where THC resin was being extracted from marijuana to produce drugs such as “shatter.”

Police said the estimated damage to the home, as well as the adjacent residences, was pegged at approximately $1.5 million.

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Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Drugs and Vice Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7066 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.

With files from David Shum

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