People connected to a Nanaimo drug lab used the dark web to sell a “wide variety” of drugs, say RCMP.
On Feb. 4, RCMP special units executed a warrant and dismantled what they say was a drug lab on Hammond Bay Road. According to a press release today, Feb. 13, officers arrested three people and dismantled a GHB processing lab as a result of a year-long investigation.
“Our determined investigators used ingenuity and innovative techniques to remove the anonymity of the internet from online drug traffickers,” said RCMP Insp. Tim Arsenault in the release.
In January 2019, the RCMP’s federal serious and organized crime unit began project EPateriform, “an investigation into online drug trafficking using the dark web and bitcoin exchanges.” The project targeted a “prolific” dark web vendor with the usernames ‘AlwaysOvrWeight’ and ‘bcpremo88.’
“Over the course of the exhaustive, year-long investigation, investigators gathered evidence to support allegations that ‘AlwaysOvrWeight’ was facilitating the online sale and shipment of a wide variety of drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, psilocybin (mushrooms), ketamine and fentanyl to Canadians,” the release noted. “The investigators also gathered evidence to identify persons working behind the ‘AlwaysOrvWeight’ moniker.”
RCMP say that with the assistance of the federal clandestine laboratory enforcement and response team, a search warrant was executed Feb. 4 at a home in the 3900 block of Hammond Bay Road. In addition to the GHB processing lab, “evidence of drug packaging and trafficking was found inside,” the release adds.
The same day, the FSOC unit searched a residence in the 6100 block of Kiara Place in Nanaimo “wherein evidence of drug trafficking using the dark web was located.”
No charges have yet been laid as the investigation remains ongoing, say RCMP.
The FSOC unit expressed its thanks to RCMP detachments in Nanaimo and Powell River and to Canada Post for co-operation and support.
“This marks the success of a challenging project,” said Supt. Richard Bergevin of RCMP FSOC in the release. “The RCMP in B.C. will continue to work to enhance public safety for all Canadians in the real and virtual world.”