Three Richmond men are among a group that have been charged following the discovery of a massive meth lab in a residential area in the summer.
Jeffrey Zeng, 24, Frank Ng, 23, and David Leobrera, 27, all of Richmond and Alexander Liang, 20, of Vancouver, were formally charged last week.
They face a shopping list of drug production and trafficking charges including:
- Conspiracy to produce a controlled substance (methamphetamine);
- Conspiracy to possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (methamphetamine);
- Production of a controlled substance (methamphetamine);
- Possession a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (methamphetamine);
- Possession a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (ecstasy);
- Possess chemicals and equipment knowing that they would be used to produce or traffic in methamphetamine.
They made their first court appearance on Thursday at Richmond Provincial Court but the matter has been put over until Nov. 3. A woman arrested at the time of the incident was released without charges.
"These are dangerous and volatile operations," said Supt. Brian Cantera, officer in charge of the Federal Drug Enforcement Program in B.C.
"They pose significant risks to the safety of all residents and the safety of first responders called upon to investigate them.
"These risks include fire, explosions, ground-water contamination, and hazardous by-products including toxic fumes that result from production."
Cantera urged anyone who may have any information about the presence of clandestine labs in their neighbourhood to view them as serious hazards and phone police immediately.
The News reported back in July how the RCMP's federal drug team and Richmond officers raided the lab in the 6200 block of Gibbons Drive.
Upon their arrival, they arrested a man and a woman. Three other men were arrested while allegedly attempting to flee out the back of the residence. A Health Canada chemist confirmed at the time that the operation was an active, bubbling methamphetamine drug lab.
It appeared that the residence was used solely for the purpose of producing synthetic drugs.
A second search warrant was executed at a Richmond apartment in the 3300 block of Corvette Way in relation to this investigation. No clandestine lab was located in the apartment but there was evidence found to support the charges of production of methamphetamine.