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Police raids on 12 properties result in three arrests, massive drug haul

Searches of a Langford motorcycle club and a dozen other properties and vehicles in the region turned up 450 grams of fentanyl, along with other drugs, weapons and cash

Raids on a Langford motorcycle clubhouse and a dozen other properties and vehicles in the region resulted in three arrests and a massive haul of drugs, cash and weapons, West Shore RCMP said Thursday.

Three people were arrested — two Langford men, ages 45 and 41, one of whom is a full-patch member of the Savages Motorcycle Club, and a 27-year-old Colwood woman, said Cpl. Nancy Saggar.

“I think it’s taking a big hit to organized crime, especially in the West Shore and beyond,” said Saggar. “You need a significant amount of information to obtain a search warrant to convince a judge that this is in our community and we need to get in there. It’s very significant we were able to get into that clubhouse but also tie it back to organized crime.”

Police believe there’s strong evidence to associate the Savages with gang activities as well as drug trafficking, said Saggar.

“It’s no secret a lot of motorcycle rides have taken place at the Savages. Individuals leaving have been photographed with members of the Hells Angels.”

Police haven’t seen much activity at the clubhouse since the search warrant was executed, she said.

Saggar said it’s possible an application will be made to the province’s Civil Forfeiture Office to take over the property. “I can tell you, we’re definitely entertaining that right now,” she said. “But again, that’s not completely up to the police. It really depends on how this plays out in court and if a judge agrees with that application or not.”

A lot of care and planning went into the large-scale police operation, said Saggar.

Forty police officers from multiple law-enforcement agencies executed 12 search warrants simultaneously on Jan. 31 on four Langford properties, including the Spencer Road clubhouse of the Savages Motorcycle Club.

The warrants were also served on two residential properties in Victoria and others in Colwood, and commercial properties in View Royal and North Saanich. Three vehicles were also searched, according to West Shore RCMP, which led the months-long investigation with its Drugs and Organized Crime Unit.

The raid on the clubhouse, which is next to an elementary school, was done in the early-morning hours before students were going to school.

Police seized a range of illicit drugs — 450 grams of fentanyl, 150 grams of methamphetamine, 200 grams of psilocybin as well as hundreds of various pills, smaller amounts of powdered and crack cocaine and another kilogram of an unknown substance.

They also found just over $46,000 in cash, an SKS rifle, a prohibited handgun and another imitation handgun, and evidence of drug trafficking, including cutting agents, packaging materials, scales and score sheets.

The amount of fentanyl seized would make up at least 4,500 individual doses — even tens of thousands, depending on the purity level, Saggar said. Investigators won’t know the potency of the fentanyl until lab testing is complete.

“We think there are hundreds of lives that could have been affected if this product had been out there on the streets. We are happy to have it seized. It’s a very good outcome here,” said Saggar.

Police are waiting for the results of the drug testing before recommending charges. However, Saggar anticipates those arrested will face charges of drug trafficking and possession of prohibited weapons.

Among the police agencies involved in the investigation were the RCMP Emergency Response Team, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia (CFSEU-BC), Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and Victoria Police Strike Force.

Police are “committed to ensuring that outlaw motorcycle gangs and their associates remain a priority due to the level of violence and harm they inflict on our communities,” said Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC’s media relations officer.

“The Savages outlaw motorcycle gang is known to be a support club for the Hells Angels. The arrests associated with this investigation, including that of a full-patch member of the Savages, are significant in our efforts to fulfill our mandate in addressing public safety.”

Sgt. Ryan Walsh of the West Shore RCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Unit said he was thankful for the police agencies who assisted in the massive investigation, adding “we are committed to dismantling and disrupting the drug trade on the West Shore.”

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