Search warrants were performed at three Richmond locations involving suspected synthetic drug production on Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the warrants were part of an eight-month targeted investigation that is still ongoing.
Sgt. Gene Hsieh with the Richmond Organized Crime Unit, said police presence will be remaining at the scenes for some time.
“These types of investigations pose a significant danger to our officers and to our community as a whole,” said Hsieh.
“Some of the chemicals are highly unstable, and it will take some time for us to render these sites safe before continuing our investigation.”
While information on the exact locations of the suspected drug labs are not being released, witnesses said a SWAT-like vehicle and an ambulance were spotted at Maple Road, between Railway Avenue and No. 2 Road, around 2 p.m. on Oct. 28.
A similar scene was also present at Comstock Road.
Richmond RCMP confirmed in an email that the BC RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team and the Richmond RCMP Organized Crime Unit were at the affected areas.
“Richmond RCMP wants to assure the public every measure has been taken to ensure the safety of the residents in the surrounding areas,” said Cpl. Adriana Peralta, spokesperson for the Richmond RCMP.
Affected areas have been blocked off for “investigational and safety reasons” and the public is asked to cooperate with officer directions in these areas at this time.
More information on the investigation to come.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212 or anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.