Members of the RCMP’s clandestine lab team spent their Thursday in Saanich, cleaning out the back of a rented SUV containing what is believed to be a mobile meth lab.
Saanich police seized the Nissan Rogue late Wednesday afternoon (March 28) after “a bunch of strange chemicals” were found in the trunk while an officer was arresting the driver.
The vehicle was parked at Shelbourne Village Square, on Cedar Hill X Road, when the officer spotted the man, barefoot, with his feet hanging out the driver’s-side window.
He went to check on the driver, who needed to be woken up and appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When the officer identified the driver, it turned out he was in breach of probation.
A search of the car uncovered the chemicals, along with drug-related paraphernalia, including bags and scales, police said. The man was arrested and the SUV, which had been rented in Vancouver, was seized.
The Vancouver-based RCMP unit arrived Thursday morning, to remove the chemicals from the truck and to help identify what they are.
“One of (the RCMP experts) told our guys, ‘I hope you guys weren’t exposed to some of these things for prolonged periods of time.’ There are significant concerns for safety here,” Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.
As of Thursday afternoon, investigators hadn’t conclusively determined what the chemicals were. There were multiple containers of chemicals, some about the size of a large jerry can.
“The investigative theory is these are precursor chemicals in relation to the production of chemical drugs like methamphetamine and GHP,” Jantzen said.
A 31-year-old Saanich man was arrested. He currently faces charges of breach of probation.