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Police dismantle potential drug lab in Gordon Head

Members of the Saanich police street crimes unit and the RCMP
Members of the Saanich police street crimes unit and the RCMP's clandestine lab team don hazmat suits while looking inside a pickup truck parked on a property where the makings of a chemical drug lab were found. Police have been on scene, in the 1900-block of Casa Marcia Cres., since Monday afternoon and are expected to remain until late Tuesday searching the home and collecting samples.
— image credit: Kyle Slavin/News staff

A slew of unlabelled chemicals, believed to be the makings of a drug lab in-progress, were found inside a shed at a Gordon Head home on Monday.

Saanich police were called to the house in the 1900-block of Casa Marcia Cres. around 1:30 p.m. on Monday after receiving a complaint about a possible drug lab inside.

Late Monday night police received a search warrant to gain access to the home. A number of liquid chemicals, some stored in large five-gallon jugs, were found in a shed on the property.

"It doesn't look like it was at the processing stage. They may have been accumulating the chemicals with the intention of setting up a drug lab," Sgt. Dean Jantzen said Tuesday at the home.

While the Saanich police street crimes unit took control of the scene, the RCMP's clandestine lab team came from the Lower Mainland to assist in processing and stabilizing the chemicals. Saanich fire department and B.C. Ambulance workers were on hand to ensure the health and safety of the officers handling the materials.

Officers donning hazmat suits took samples of the chemicals from a makeshift workstation set up in the backyard of the home. It could take weeks or months to identify the samples, Jantzen said.

"It's too early to classify what type of lab this is," he noted.

Jantzen said the investigation has focused mainly on the shed, though officers are searching the home and vehicles parked there for any drugs, drug paraphernalia or additional chemicals.

One man who lived in the home, which is owned by a family member, was arrested. He faces one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

He was taken into custody Monday afternoon following a brief stand-off with police. He had barricaded himself inside the home.

Police expect to be at the scene until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

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