The Abbotsford Police Department seized a large quantity of drugs and cash during a bust on Nov. 23. Two people have so far been charged. (Abbotsford Police Department photo)

Large drug bust yields fentanyl and carfentanil

Abbotsford Police launch investigation after spike in overdose deaths

  • Dec. 12, 2017 1:08 p.m.

A large drug bust by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has resulted in the seizure of two kilograms of drugs, including those containing fentanyl and carfentanil, and charges being laid against two people.

Sgt. Judy Bird said the bust resulted from an investigation that was launched after a spike in fatal drug overdoses – including five fatals in one day – that occurred in late October.

Bird said the APD’s drug enforcement unit targeted high-level drug-trafficking rings which supply fentanyl and other drugs to local dealers.

On Nov. 23, officers executed search warrants on a home, storage lockers and three vehicles, where $46,000 in cash, weapons, drugs and other evidence consistent with drug trafficking was seized.

Among the two kilograms of drugs seized were meth, cocaine, marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy) and fentanyl.

Bird said police also found six kilograms of materials used in the production of meth and MDMA.

She said lab analysis has since confirmed that some of the drugs contained carfentanil – an opioid 100 times more potent than fentanyl – and that some of the cocaine had been contaminated with fentanyl.

Five people were arrested during the investigation, and two have been charged so far.

Brian Vincent MacDonald, 53, has been charged with eight counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking (PPT).

Bird said MacDonald is known to the APD and has an extensive criminal history, including five prior convictions for PPT, most recently in 2015.

Charged with two counts of PPT was Jason Clifford Richardson, 45.

A third man – Bryan Howell, 36 – was arrested on outstanding Alberta warrants for fraud-related charges.

Another man and one woman were also arrested, with charges currently pending.

APD Insp. Tom Chesley, officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Branch, said the arrests will have a “significant impact” on the drug trade in the city’s downtown core.

“The presence of fentanyl and carfentanil in drugs is a clear indication that drug dealers have no regard for human life, and that they are only concerned with making a profit,” he said.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, email apdtips@abbypd.ca or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

SEE ALSO: Abbotsford overdose victim was adored by grandchildren

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