A pot export case that involved the RCMP, Canada Border Services, the Belgian customs division and even an RCMP liaison at the Hague has resulted in charges for four men from Langley and Surrey.
Project E-Prominent started in the summer of 2018 to investigate the export of cannabis to Europe.
Local searches and seizures took place in June and August of 2019 in Langley and Surrey, and included a North Langley warehouse, a home and farm property in South Langley, a home in Langley’s Glen Valley area, and a Surrey home.
The primary target appears to have been a farm and home in the 500 block of 224th Street.
Mark Manastyrski, Jason Van Den Born, William Price and Keith Wallis all face charges of exportation of cannabis, possession for the purpose of exporting, distribution over 30, and distribution of illicit cannabis. Van Den Born faces two additional charges of cultivation over four plants in house and careless use (storage) of a firearm.
— BCRCMP (@BCRCMP) October 27, 2020
The searches in Langley and Surrey resulted in the seizure of a large amount of Canadian currency, five vehicles and two dozen firearms. Also seized was more than 1,180 kilograms of dried cannabis and over 5,300 cannabis plants. The facility’s medical licence permitted fewer than 300 plants.
Although recreational cannabis was legal in Canada by the time of the raids, export remains illegal.
A fifth search warrant was executed in Delta and required the assistance of the Federal RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team. As a result, an amount of Aniline, which is a known fentanyl pre-cursor chemical, was seized.
“The cannabis black market continues to try and find ways to improve their profit by exploring options internationally,” said Supt. Richard Bergevin, Officer in Charge of the Federal Serious and Organized Crime – Major Projects team in B.C. “With the help of our federal and international policing partners, we were able to stop the exportation of a significant quantity of cannabis and will continue to combat the efforts of organized crime at home and abroad.”
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