On June 20th 2019 at approximately 9:00 pm, the West Shore RCMP received a request from the View Royal Fire Department to assist with a suspicious residential fire located in View Royal. The fire department advised that the fire originated in the basement unit kitchen which was rented by a 35 year old female tenant. This tenant had suffered burns to her arms.
West Shore RCMP officers arrived on scene and learned that the fire was caused by chemically extracting cannabis. The West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit headed up the investigation.
A search warrant was executed on the property on June 21st with the help of the BC RCMP Clandestine Lab Team. View Royal Fire Department along with the Capital Regional District Hazmat team were on standby and provided decontamination support for officers who exited the home after the search.
Upon entering the basement unit of the house, police encountered a sophisticated large scale clandestine lab that was allegedly producing a chemically derived highly concentrated form of cannabis known as Shatter.
At the present time chemical extractions of Cannabis or Shatter cannot be legally purchased in Canada. It is also illegal under the Cannabis Act to produce Cannabis beyond personal cultivation limits or with the use of solvents.
The West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit seized numerous pieces of evidence including approximately 100 pounds of dried Cannabis, Cannabis resin and oil along with Shatter in various stages of production as well as over $1000 in cash.
A substantial quantity of flammable and explosive materials such as acetone solvents and over 500 canisters and tanks of used butane was located. There was also high-quality commercial grade lab equipment, including industrial ovens, high-end steel extractors and laboratory glassware within the basement suite.
“Producing Shatter involves the use of organic solvents which is an extremely dangerous criminal activity,” said Cst. Pollock of the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit. “The lab was in a neighbourhood bordering parks and children’s playgrounds. Further there was evidence of children living in the home. The Crime Reduction Unit worked with the RCMP Clandestine Lab Team to safely take down and process the scene. The investigation is on-going. A variety of charges relating to drug production and distribution under the Cannabis Act and other potential Criminal Code offences are being sought.”
For more information on the Cannabis Act click here.
Cst. Nancy Saggar, Media Relations Officer
West Shore RCMP, 698 Atkins Avenue, Victoria, BC V9B3A4
Office: 250-474-2264 | Fax: 250-474-8790