Counterfeit currency, guns and pills found in alleged Calgary fentanyl lab
A Calgary man and his wife are facing charges following the discovery of an alleged fentanyl production lab and counterfeit currency operation in a home in the community of Evanston last month.
Police launched an investigation in late September 2017 after receiving tips from the public about what was suspected to be a so-called dial-a-dope operation.
On Oct. 12, police arrested two people during a traffic stop in the northeast.
Police said a search of the vehicle led to the seizure of the following items:
- $3,415 cash
- $58,000 counterfeit Canadian currency in $100 and $20 bills
- A folder containing counterfeit reflective security strips for the production of counterfeit Canadian currency
- 100 fentanyl pills
- 3.3 grams of heroin
- 2.9 grams of crack cocaine
- Drug packaging materials and cellphones
- Smith & Wesson 9-mm semi-automatic handgun
Officers then executed a search of a home in the o-100 block of Evansborough Green N.W.
Police said a search of the home led to the seizure of the following items:
- 10.7 grams of crack cocaine
- 1,145 fentanyl pills
- Unknown white powder
- Blue and red dye containers containing dye consistent with dying fentanyl pills a green/blue colour
- $429,600 in counterfeit Canadian currency, in both $100 and $20 bills
- $25,700 in counterfeit U.S. currency
- Numerous sheets of “money paper” with bills printed on each sheet, but not yet cut
- Counterfeit Canadian currency reflective strips, enough to create approximately $4.5 million in counterfeit currency
- Ink, large-scale printers, computers and other counterfeit currency manufacturing supplies
- A Mossberg Defender 12-gauge shotgun
- Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle
- Ammunition of various calibres
In addition, police said they found a manual pill press and an industrial-style electric pill press in the home’s attached garage.
Behrooz Rafizada, 27, and Jocelynn Aida Saliba, 28, face 59 charges including one regarding the possession of pill presses, which is believed to be the first of its kind laid in Alberta under new provincial legislation.
In a Monday news conference, Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette said the pill presses are loud, industrial instruments.
“This pill press … can produce up to 120,000 pills per day,” Hatchette said. “You would notice it if you were up against the door, but otherwise you wouldn’t. It’s loud but it’s not overpoweringly loud.”
“People in Calgary, without licence, cannot possess these types of instruments.”
Preliminary tests of the substances found at the scene indicate both W18 and fentanyl were present.
“We’re very confident that we’ve stopped deaths from occurring because of this seizure,” Hatchette added.
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