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Speeding stop leads to bust of “mobile meth lab,” RCMP say

An RCMP cruiser is scrubbed clean after it was possibly contaminated by toxic chemicals following a drug bust on the Trans-Canada Highway on Saturday. - Alex Cooper/ Revelstoke Times Review
An RCMP cruiser is scrubbed clean after it was possibly contaminated by toxic chemicals following a drug bust on the Trans-Canada Highway on Saturday.
— image credit: Alex Cooper/ Revelstoke Times Review

What began as a routine stop for speeding yielded a major drug seizure and the discovery of what one RCMP officer called a “mobile meth lab” Saturday night.

RCMP said an investigator with the Trans Canada East Traffic Services stopped a white 2003 Toyota Tacoma for speeding on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke on Saturday, May 24.

An investigation led to the discovery of about $84,000 worth of drugs, including methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, MDMA, magic mushrooms, acid and prescription drug pills. Police also seized various drug paraphernalia and chemical production materials. A firearm, cash and bear spray were also uncovered and the truck was impounded.

During the investigation, two RCMP officers and a tow truck driver were exposed to potentially hazardous materials. They were decontaminated and taken to Queen Victoria Hospital for treatment.

A special RCMP team was called in from Vancouver to assist with the investigation, ensure the various chemicals were secured and decontaminate the area. The RCMP parking lot was roped off Saturday night and into Sunday as the team cleared the area.

An environmental services company was called in to clean out the police cars, tow truck, the suspect’s vehicle and the cell block where the man was held.

“When we’re dealing with those things, the chemicals in there are carcinogenic, they’re highly toxic,” said Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky of the Revelstoke RCMP. “We go out of our way to ensure safety. Anything that was possibly contaminated by anything that anybody touched or were around, we had sanitized.”

Grabinsky said the seizure was connected to organized crime, and that the suspect was not talking to police.

The vehicle was heading eastbound and was not destined for Revelstoke, said Grabinksy.

He couldn’t say how often these types of drug loads come through the area, but did say the types of drugs seized are present in Revelstoke.

“We have no idea how common it is. It’s just the occasional time where you do stop the right person,” he said. “We don’t know a lot of information, to be honest, here in Revelstoke. The information we have is the drug trade is obviously very active.”

A 34-year-old Vancouver man was arrested and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and several driving violations. He is scheduled to appear in Revelstoke court in September. More charges may be forthcoming, RCMP say.

 

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