Charges still not brought in Central Okanagan fentanyl busts

RCMP seized fentanyl, cash and production equipment from two West Kelowna locations March 2, 2016.
Image Credit: RCMP

KELOWNA – At least eight poeple arrested during Fentanyl raids around Kelowna over the last five months are still free and have yet to see any charges against them.

Since last November, four properties have been searched and at least eight individuals were arrested for either possessing, distributing or importing Fentanyl, a drug blamed for a spike in overdoses and deaths across the province including a Kelowna father of two who took pure fentanyl thinking it was heroin.

RCMP have been releasing more information regarding the dangerous drug in the last five months, claiming to have intercepted packages containing the drug as well as the equipment used to package it.

On Nov. 2 Kelowna RCMP intercepted 24.5 grams of Fentanyl bound for an address in the 1500 block of Pandosy St. A little over a month later, a house on Neave Court in Kelowna was raided by police. There they found an industrial grade pill press covered in fentanyl residue, as well as a loaded gun.

A 22-year-old Kelowna woman and a 28-year-old West Kelowna man were arrested, but have yet to be charged.

The same is true for a 56-year-old Lake Country man who was arrested in the 11,000 block of Cemetary Road March 2, the same day RCMP took down two warehouses suspected of storing and distributing fentanyl pills disguised as other drugs.

An estimated 500 fake Percocet pills laced with fentanyl were found at a warehouse on Auburn Crescent March 2 as well as a pill press and chemical mixer. Hundreds more fentanyl-laced pills and $40,000 cash were found at a concurrent raid of a home on Petterson Road.

Const. Jesse O’Donaghey says five people were arrested as a result of that joint operation but none have yet been charged.

“No formal charges have been laid yet but they all have court dates,” he says. “A report to crown has not been submitted yet.”

O’Donaghey says the course taken depends on the case, but that investigators and lawyers are compiling evidence that will ultimately have to be approved by the crown.

He says of the five arrested after the Auburn bust, four will likely be charged before June 9.

West Kelowna RCMP executed a search warrant at a warehouse on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 they believe was being used to lace drugs with fentanyl.
West Kelowna RCMP executed a search warrant at a warehouse on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 they believe was being used to lace drugs with fentanyl.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724. 

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