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RCMP seize huge cache of chemicals used to make synthetic opioids from rural Chilliwack home

Propionyl chloride found in hillside home could have made 320 kg of pure fentanyl
Thousands of litres of chemicals used to make synthetic opioids were seized by federal RCMP CLEAR team on June 2, 2022 from an Extrom Road residence in Chilliwack. ( B.C. RCMP)

Thousands of litres of chemicals used to make synthetic opioids were seized by police from a rural Chilliwack property on June 2.

A specialized federal police unit, known as the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team, uncovered a cache of solvents and precursor chemicals at a residence on Extrom Road.

“The recovery of these precursors represents a significant disruption to the illicit synthetic drug market,” said RCMP Supt. Bert Ferreira, of the Serious & Organized Crime Border Integrity Program. “More importantly, this seizure prevents additional deadly drugs from harming our communities that continue to suffer from the opioid crisis.”

Investigating RCMP officers also found signs that a future drug lab was under construction on-site.

“Among the chemicals recovered were 160 litres of a Class A precursor, propionyl chloride, and over 2,000 litres of industrial solvents commonly used in the illicit production of synthetic drugs,” according to the June 23 release from B.C. RCMP.

The CLEAR team investigation culminated in the execution of the search warrant at Extrom Road home. No arrests were made and no charges have been laid. A lethal dose of pure fentanyl is two milligrams, roughly the same as a few grains of sugar, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

The amount of propionyl chloride seized by officers could have made 320 kilograms of pure fentanyl, which is equivalent to 320 one-kilogram bags of sugar.

The CLEAR team is a specialized federal police unit with the training and equipment necessary to safely dismantle clandestine drug laboratories and process hazardous materials.

“If you suspect that you know where a clandestine illicit drug laboratory is, contact your local police. They can investigate whether any illegal activity is taking place and contact the Federal RCMP CLEAR team to assist if required.”

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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