Cash, cellphones and suspected crack cocaine and purple fentanyl were seized by police during a bust on Wednesday (Aug. 14) in Abbotsford. (Photo: Abbotsford Police Department)

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Three young men have been arrested and are facing possible charges after allegedly being caught in Abbotsford with items that included purple fentanyl.

Sgt. Judy Bird said the arrests of the two 18-year-olds and one 19-year-old follow a joint operation by the Abbotsford Police Department’s (APD) gang crime and drug enforcement units.

She said the project targeted associates of the Lower Mainland gang conflict who are involved in street-level drug trafficking.

The three men were stopped in a vehicle, and police seized approximately $1,500 in cash, individually packaged doses of suspected fentanyl and crack cocaine, cellphones used to conduct drug deals, and a 2016 Jeep Wrangler that was being used to deliver the drugs, Bird said.

The three men could now be facing charges of drug trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Bird said a referral is also being considered to the Civil Forfeiture Office for all of the seized assets, including the Jeep.

The suspected fentanyl seized in the bust was purple, and Bird explained that producers sometimes add a colouring agent to their drugs to differentiate them from those of other suppliers.

If the drug is good, then users know to seek out, for example, the “purple powder,” she said.

Bird said officers have also recently come across a pink powder that tests have indicated is a benzodiazepine – used in the treatment of anxiety and depression – mixed with carfentanil, an opioid believed to be 100 times more toxic than fentanyl.

RELATED: Police confirm carfentanil found for first time in street-level drugs in Abbotsford

Sgt. Maitland Smith of the APD’s gang crime unit (GCU) said Abbotsford is currently experiencing a trend around young people being recruited into gangs – specifically as drivers.

He said more-established dealers are aware that police are seizing vehicles and assets during arrests, so they use young drivers to chauffeur them around while they conduct their drug-trafficking business.

“In most cases, these young, new drivers are using vehicles registered to their parents to drive the dealers around with the promise that they will get a share of the profit at the end of the day,” Smith said.

But he warned that these young people can be charged with drug trafficking, even if they never touch the drugs, because they are part of an offence being committed.

As well, the vehicle they are driving can be seized, even if their parents are the registered owners.

Smith also issues a reminder that dozens of youth involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict and street-level drug trafficking have been shot and killed in recent years.

He urges anyone with concerns to contact the APD GCU at 604-864-4777 or email gangintervention@abbypd.ca or the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit’s gang intervention team at 604-897-6023 or gangintervention@cfseu.bc.ca.

RELATED: Gang Busters: Abbotsford Police gang crime unit tackles the issues

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

This 2016 Jeep Wrangler was seized by police during a drug bust on Wednesday (Aug. 14) in Abbotsford. (Photo: Abbotsford Police Department)

Just Posted

Clinton and District Community Forest passes audit

According to a news release from Forest Practices Board on Feb. 19,… Continue reading

Research casts ‘last stop sign on Trans-Canada’ claim into doubt

Sign was removed from junction of Highways 1 and 97 in Cache Creek in February 1984

Savona athletes head to BC Winter Games

Akira Susanj and Alexander Teague competing in karate events

Ashcroft councillor wants to revisit Village’s burning bylaw

Raven Nyman’s regular report on Ashcroft council

Cache Creek unsuccessful in bid for Quartz Road bridge funding

Highlights from the most recent meeting of Cache Creek council

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read