Delta police announced a major drug bust in South Delta.
According to police, a concern from the community regarding drug dealing led to the arrests of more than a dozen people in this city and Richmond.
Firearms, a large amount of drugs and vehicles were seized with evidence indicating links to the Hells Angels and the UN gang.
In August 2020, the Delta Police Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) began investigating a dial-a-dope operation in South Delta.
Dubbed “Project Rolling Thunder” and “Project Big Smoke”, there were two main thrusts of the investigation, a news release explains, adding warrants were executed in two locations in Delta and three in Richmond.
In Project Rolling Thunder, total cash seized was approximately $193,000, as well as $70,000 worth of engagement rings, two ATVs, three Harley Davidson motorcycles with “support your local Hells Angels” stickers, as well as seven additional vehicles with some having hidden compartments for transport.
The weapons seized include a Carl Walther Waffenfabrik PPLS 9mm calibre gun with a loaded magazine, Swiss Arms .22 calibre pistol, Heckler and Koch .40 pistol, SKS style assault rifle 7.62mm, Taser and body armour
Drugs seized include over a kilogram of powder cocaine, hundreds of individually packaged amounts of methamphetamine, fentanyl, crack cocaine, ecstasy, and oxycodone, as well as 330 grams of psilocybin (magic mushrooms) plus approximately 70 pounds of illicit cannabis.
As far as the drug total street value, the volume and value is still being tabulated by a drug expert, but an initial estimate is $250,000.
“What had started as a response to community frustration over street level drug dealing, quickly grew into a significant investigation for our Crime Reduction Unit,” said Superintendent Kelly Young, head of the Investigations Bureau for Delta Police.
“In addition to the drugs and firearms seizures, our initial search warrants yielded even more information to keep the investigation going.”
On Oct. 28, 2020, Delta Police CRU with the assistance of Richmond RCMP, E-Division RCMP, the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit –BC, executed search warrants at the three suspected commercial marihuana grow operations in Richmond.
As far as Project Big Smoke, police believe a large scale illicit cannabis production/distribution operation was operating under the guise of a medical marijuana licence.
Total cannabis seized includes 18,145 plants and 1,394 pounds of dried cannabis ready for street sale. The dried cannabis has a value of about $1.8 million.
“Investigators believe these sites were capable of producing approximately $18 million dollars annually of black market cannabis sales,” said Young.
Police reiterate that evidence seized indicate links to organized crime, specifically the Hells Angels and the UN Gang.
Investigators anticipate forwarding a number of criminal charges under both the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Cannabis Act to Crown Counsel.