Three Lower Mainland men have been sentenced to three years in prison for their roles in a major drug lab.
Police uncovered the lab on Trinity Valley Road, north of Lumby, B.C., more than two years ago.
RCMP said the clandestine lab was one of the biggest ever discovered in the province.
The drug lab was described in court as a sophisticated commercial operation capable of producing methamphetamine and fentanyl on an ongoing basis.
On Tuesday, three Lower Mainland men were sentenced to three years in prison for their roles in the operation.
Michael Harvey, 46, Tyson Kopp, 36, and Michael Piggott, 46, each pled guilty to two charges related to the production of methamphetamine: unlawfully possessing ephedrine knowing it would be used to produce methamphetamine and producing a controlled substance.
Court heard that the trio had been brought in as specialized labourers to extract ephedrine from pills for use in the production of methamphetamine.
They were living in a hotel and visiting the Lumby property each day.
According to Crown counsel, the trio was being paid but was not directly profiting from the sale of the drugs.
Court heard the investigation actually started in Langley, B.C., in July 2018 when the RCMP was investigating a large-scale shipment of ephedrine to a warehouse.
A trailer that arrived at the Langley warehouse was later tracked to a warehouse in Kelowna and then to the rural property on Trinity Valley Road.
Defence lawyers for two of the men, Harvey and Kopp, told the court their clients’ offenses were the result of misguided attempts to better provide for their families.
“I had convinced myself that I had no other option. I had convinced myself that I was doing what I had to do to support my family and I realize that clearly, that wasn’t the case. I had options,” Harvey said.
“I’m extremely sorry and regretful for my actions. I’ve let myself and my family down. one of the hardest parts of this was telling my kids and watching their heartbreaking reactions. The shame I feel I cannot even express into words,” Kopp said.
All three men apologized to the court and promised to change their ways.
“I’ve learned that is not the life for me or what I want to teach my kids growing up…I have no intentions of ever being before you ever again,” Michael Piggott told the judge.
The three-year sentence was the result of a plea bargain.
Other charges, including charges related to fentanyl, were stayed.
Three other men were also charged in connection with the drug lab.
Their cases are expected to be back in court in Kelowna next week.