Police seized $114,000 in cash. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Police seized $114,000 in cash. (Neil Corbett/The News)

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Ridge Meadows RCMP revealed details of its largest-ever seizure of drugs, firearms, and cash on Thursday morning.

The bust came after a five-month investigation by the detachment’s Street Enforcement Unit, and included confiscation of more than 3.5 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, which would equal approximately 35,280 street doses, according to police.

At the press conference, Insp. Aaron Paradis also announced the seizure of significant volumes of more suspected drugs: 2.2 kg of meth, 659 grams of coke/crack, 1.6 kg of ketamine and 844 codeine/morphine pills.

The total would be more than 72,000 total doses.

“No community should have this amount of illegal drugs on their streets,” he said.

READ ALSO: Policing about human connections – even in crisis

Police also seized a fully automatic submachine gun, semi-automatic pistol, a silencer, hard body armour and $114,000 in currency. The pistol was a Cz-75 Shadow 9mm, and the submachine gun wasa GSG-40 9mm with a sawed-off barrel. In addition therre were other gun parts and several boxes of ammunition.

READ ALSO: Ridge RCMP select new officer in charge

Police also announced Christopher Leigh Harmes, 34, of Maple Ridge attended provincial court in Port Coquitlam on July 16, and was charged with nine weapons offences: Four counts of possessing a firearm without a licence and/or registration, two counts of careless use of a firearm, two counts of possessing a prohibited weapon, and one count of “loaded/unloaded with ammunition a prohibited or restricted firearm.

In addition, this week the RCMP is forwarding 11 further drug-related charges for consideration by Crown counsel.

Harmes has been previously been convicted for drug trafficking offences in 2010, 2012 and 2015. He is in custody pending his next court appearance on Aug. 19.

Paradis said the Street Enforcement Unit, a plainclothes team that uses “covert techniques,” began in March 2020 investigating activity related to the illicit drug trade and in particular Blue Fentanyl which is believed to be linked to multiple overdose deaths throughout the Lower Mainland. He said the team identified Harmes selling drugs in the downtown core.

On July 15, search warrants were executed with the assistance of the Integrated Emergency Response Team on two residences; one in Maple Ridge and one in Mission.

READ ALSO: RCMP arrest man with drugs, guns

“We feel it’s a significant impact to street level drug trade that we see here in our community, and any time that you can remove that quantity of drugs off our streets we certainly know the impact will be significant in making our community safer,” said Paradis.

He said the detachment reviewed other busts from the past 25 years for comparison. While there have been other large cannabis busts, this is considered the largest based on the number of doses and the “lethality” of the drugs seized.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fentanylMaple RidgeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

There were 72,000 doses of drugs, including fentanyl. (Neil Corbett/The News)

There were 72,000 doses of drugs, including fentanyl. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. Aaron Paradis relates details of the detachment’s largest-ever seizure. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. Aaron Paradis relates details of the detachment’s largest-ever seizure. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Just Posted

Sam Darkoh in his music video ‘Ruby Fever’ which was shot in Yarrow. (Sterling Gold Production)
VIDEO: Yarrow, Chilliwack backdrop for professionally shot music video of Aldergrove rapper

Lots of hospitality, kind people while filming Ruby Fever, says hip-hop artist Sam Darkoh

Brian VanGarderen is one of four candidates running in the Chilliwack School Board byelection on Feb. 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack byelection candidate would like to see district-wide connections

Brian Vangarderen hopes Chilliwack school board will focus on policy making and positive connections

Chilliwack is expected to be among the province’s hottest real estate markets in 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chilliwack housing market projected to be among B.C.’s hottest in 2021

B.C. Real Estate Association projects Chilliwack and District to grow by 17.1 per cent

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon. (Submitted)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding equity and social change scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Eva Pucci Couture in this file shot from May 29, 2019, when she came to Chilliwack asking for the public’s help in locating her missing son, Kristofer Shawn Couture. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Missing man’s mom still hopeful, 2 years after his car was found abandoned at Chilliwack trail

‘I wish someone would come forward with insight into your whereabouts,’ pleads mom of missing man

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Langley activist Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 108th birthday on Monday, Jan. 25 at the Cedar Hill long term care facility. Because of the pandemic, she remained inside, able to see, but not shake hands with visitors. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Celebrating a 108th birthday without physical contact

Pandemic required Langley woman to stay behind a window

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

Most Read