Two men, one from Surrey and one from Langley, have been charged with multiple drug and weapons offences as a result of a large-scale investigation into clandestine meth labs in B.C. by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).
On Wednesday (May 25) the agency revealed four B.C. meth labs raided in June of 2010 were working together with organized crime overseas.
Three labs were located in Surrey.
They were inactive, police said, and were likely in the process of being moved elsewhere in the province.
A fourth, active methamphetamine lab was located near an underground bunker on an 80-acre rural property about 40 km north of Kamloops.
Police seized 32 firearms, including an M-16 rifle and a number of handguns as well as a grenade and ammunition.
“This was a sophisticated, well-organized drug operation that encompassed many aspects of organized crime, including the manufacturing of drugs and guns,” said RCMP Supt. Pat Fogarty, who heads the CFSEU’s organized-crime division.
The CFSEU called it a major drug operation with ties to a number of criminal groups, including Eastern European organized crime.
A 34-year-old Surrey resident, Ante Dragusica, is charged with two counts of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, three counts of production of a controlled substance, one count of possession of a restricted firearm, one count of possession of a firearm without a licence, one count of possession of a prohibited weapon and two counts of a possession of a restricted firearm while prohibited for a total of 10 charges.
The owner of the Kamloops bunker, 39-year-old Langley resident Ivan Georgiev, has been charged with one count of producing a controlled substance, one of possession of a controlled substance and three counts of unlawful possession of a precursor drug.
Georgiev earlier pleaded guilty to firearms charges in February and received a three-year jail term.
Police also seized Georgiev’s two-year-old daughter when they raided the Kamloops property.
She was later turned over to the Ministry of Social Services.
CFSEU Sgt. Shinder Kirk said the girl was found near a number of loaded weapons, including a grenade.
Kirk called that “highly disturbing,” noting that ammunition was also found under the toddler’s crib.
Police uncovered the drug labs while looking into the 2007 disappearance of 38-year-old Ronald William Carlow, a man with links to organized crime who is now presumed dead.
CFSEU, which integrates municipal police and Mounties, operates several specialized teams and units including the Organized Crime Division, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Enforcement Unit, the Gang Task Force (which includes the Uniform Gang Task Force and Firearms Enforcement Team).
– with files from Black Press