Charges have been laid against six people accused of operating three clandestine drug labs in Richmond.
Richmond RCMP said Wednesday that the Public Prosecution Service of Canada has charged Huang-Wei “Anthony” Hsu, Chanel Hsu, Kim World Huang, Yung En “Grace” Yang, Zekun Cao and Lui Yuan Song.
The charges, which include drug and firearm offences, stem from an eight-month long investigation launched by Richmond RCMP’s Organized Crime Unit in March 2020.
The six individuals were arrested on Oct. 28, 2020, when Mounties carried out a series of raids on the clandestine labs, connected to properties at 6340 Comstock Road, 5406 Maple Road and a property in the 4100 block of Blundell Road.
At the time, police found more than $200,000, 70 silver bars, five vehicles, 4 luxury watches and 23 mobile phones, which were submitted to the BC Civil Forfeiture service. A civil forfeiture lawsuit was later filed in BC Supreme Court.
Mounties also seized approximately 28 kg of methamphetamine, 8.5 kg of fentanyl, 2.5 kg of fentanyl/heroin mix, one kg of MDMA, 10 kg of illicit cannabis and 58 kg of ephedrine.
Five carbine-style rifles, three pistols, five sound suppressors and three pill presses were also seized during the investigation.
The aforementioned lawsuit claimed the Comstock and Maple road properties housed meth labs, while the lab at the Blundell property was being used for the extraction of ephedrine, a precursor to the production of methamphetamine.
The Comstock Road property was also linked to a separate civil forfeiture suit filed in November 2020.
“These types of investigations are extremely complex and officers spend countless hours on advancing these major crime investigations,” said Insp. Michael Cohee, officer-in-charge of investigative services.
“This speaks to the level of commitment our officers have to our community and ensuring public safety in Richmond. I am so proud of the officers involved in this investigation.”
Huang-Wei “Anthony” Hsu has been charged with 12 offences including possessing ephedrine intending it will be used to produce a controlled substance, possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, producing methamphetamine, possessing a non-restricted firearm, possessing a loaded restricted firearm, possessing a firearm knowing the serial number has been altered and possessing a conducted energy weapon.
Chanel Hsu has been charged with three offences, including possessing ephedrine and methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, and producing methamphetamine.
Huang and Yang have both been charged with 15 offences, including producing methamphetamine, possessing fentanyl, cocaine, ketamine and methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking, possessing a loaded prohibited firearm, possessing a loaded restricted firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing a non-restricted firearm and possessing prohibited devices.
Cao and Song have each been charged with one offence of possessing ephedrine intending it will be used to produce a controlled substance.
Clandestine labs and the illegal manufacturing of illicit drugs pose a significant threat to public health and safety, said Richmond RCMP, including risk of fire, explosions and toxic chemical waste that can contaminate the environment.
Signs of illegal clandestine labs in residences include:
- The occupants appear secretive, unfriendly, and are either always home or never home
- The occupants bring in unusual items into the residences such as buckets of chemicals, pill presses, laboratory glassware, or an unusual amount of the same cookware (pots)
- The premises have been outfitted with expensive security measures or the occupants are paranoid about who has seen them
- There are strong smells of chemical odours such as the sharp smell of solvents and acids
- The garbage is unusual; such as pots or chemical containers with labels removed
Anyone with further information about a suspected clandestine lab or other criminal activity is asked to contact Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212. To remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.solvecrime.ca.