Bomb found, dismantled at Victoria drug house

Explosive device described as powerful enough to cause major damage to neighbouring houses in Victoria neighbourhood

The windows at 3169 Carrol St. are boarded up and the power’s been unhooked for hours.

Last night, officers advanced on the residence – half a duplex – which is being called a suspected drug house. Police found a bomb, booby traps and cameras inside.

“It would have done substantial damage to the house and blow out the windows of neighbouring houses,” Const. Mike Russell said about the device.

The operation started at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. A VicPD strike force investigation led to a search warrant on the residence and officers learned the house might be booby trapped and could contain explosives.

Rien DeJong, who lives at the adjacent unit of 3171 Carrol, said officers arrived with guns drawn and entered the neighbouring suite through the windows.

“They took me out of the house at gunpoint,” he said.

Inside 3169 Carrol, officers found a bomb that was clearly homemade, Russell said, judging by “the way it was put together and the type of materials used.”

The residents of 10 neighbouring houses were evacuated.

Explosives technicians from Victoria and Saanich police departments were called in, along with a bomb-sniffing dog. That’s when the RCMP’s explosive disposal unit was called in.

Those officers disabled the bomb at 10 a.m. Thursday.

On Wednesday night, two men were arrested in connection to the incident.

A 32-year-old man who lived at the residence is facing charges of setting straps likely to cause bodily harm. A 30-year-old from Saanich was also arrested, but police haven’t recommended any charges.

Drugs were found inside the house, Russell said, but wouldn’t clarify what type or the amount. The house’s electrical system was re-routed “to give electric shock” to unauthorized visitors, Russell said.

DeJong, who has lived nextdoor to the suspect for almost four years, said he doesn’t believe the device was a bomb. His neighbour built electric scooters and fixed vehicles, and therefore owned several batteries and homemade gadgets.

As for the drugs, DeJong isn’t sure. “People were always coming and going,” he said.

He described his neighbour’s residence as stuffed with objects and disorganized, “like a swap-n-shop.”

“I have no idea what was going on down there,” DeJong said.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

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