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ALERT dismantles suspected fentanyl lab in Calgary

Some of the items seized after a suspected fentanyl lab was shut down in Calgary. Supplied: ALERT

A possible fentanyl lab has been dismantled in Calgary, according to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams.

On Jan. 18, ALERT’s Calgary organized crime team dismantled the lab and reportedly found a pill press, dyes, various chemical powders and fentanyl in both pill and powder forms.

The tablets were reportedly marked with “CDN” and “80” markings.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Wallace said it was hard to say how many pills the lab produced before it was shut down, but the type of pill press seized could make between 1,000 and 3,000 pills in an hour.

“[It depends] how much product they have coming in and their commitment and their efficiency,” he said. “It’s hard to tell how many pills they have created before we were able to shut them down through a warrant.”
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READ MORE: 5 Calgarians arrested for allegedly trafficking cocaine, MDMA: RCMP

In a news release, police said the suspected lab was operating out of the garage of a Forest Lawn home.

Police also executed search warrants at a home in New Brighton, two storage lockers in Erin Woods and a vehicle.

The New Brighton home was owned by one of the accused, Wallace said, but didn’t specify which one owned the home. The other home was a rental property.

As a result of those searches, police seized $75,000 worth of processed drugs, including:

  • 902 fentanyl pills;
  • 178 grams of fentanyl powder;
  • 4.4 kilograms of powders;
  • 101 morphine pills

Police were only able to display a small portion of the items seized. ALERT spokesperson Mike Tucker said most of the items would have been “improper” to display and had to be destroyed.

Police also seized one handgun.

The chemicals seized will be sent to Health Canada for further analysis.

According to Wallace, this is the fourth fentanyl lab, the second in Calgary, that ALERT has shut down.

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That concerns Calgary Police Service Supt. Cliff O’Brien.

“Shutting down a lab right here in our backyard is a major victory, but I would say it’s also very alarming.”

According to Wallace, the labs are a danger to the public not only because of the pills they produce, but the state of the lab itself.

“This is not what you would think about as a clean Alberta Health Services lab; this is a garage. It’s dirty. The products, the powders, the fetanyl, all of the contamination in the whole place is mixed.

“They’re not using sophisticated equipment to actually combine the products and then of course they’re going into a pill press. Coming out the other end, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting in a pill.”

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Some of the items seized after a suspected fentanyl lab was shut down in Calgary. Supplied: ALERT
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A sample of the drugs that were seized when police dismantled a suspected fentanyl lab in Calgary. Mike Hills/Global News
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A pill press was seized along with a number of drugs after police dismantled a suspected fentanyl lab in Calgary on Jan. 18, 2019. Supplied: ALERT

Four people are now facing charges.

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Richard Clow, 30, is charged with production of fentanyl; possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking; possession of property obtained by crime; and breach of recognizance.

Kyle Bauch, 30, is charged with production of fentanyl; possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking; possession of property obtained by crime; unsafe storage of a firearm; and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

READ MORE: Calgary police arrest 2 in $8M drug bust

Scott Connell, 38, and Shawna Foley, 37, are both facing one count of charged with production of fentanyl.

The investigation, which began in November 2018 after a tip, also involved the Calgary Police Service.

Police said Clow had previously been arrested and charged in another ALERT investigation.

The investigation was launched in November 2018 after ALERT received a tip. Wallace wouldn’t elaborate on what techniques police used during the investigation, but did encourage people who suspect a neighbour may be part of illegal activity to contact police.

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