Police are still actively investigating after discovering and dismantling a secret drug lab in Coquitlam.
And it took four days to take down in order to ensure safety for everyone involved in the process.
Last Friday (July 15), Coquitlam firefighters responded to a water leak at a warehouse on North Bend Street — west of the intersection of Golden Drive and United Boulevard — but the person inside was not cooperating.
An "urgent request" for help was called to RCMP, and a clandestine lab was found in the unit shortly after officers arrived.
Spokesperson Const. Deanna Law explains a 43-year-old man was arrested, but later released as the investigation is still in its early stages.
"Upon discovery of a clandestine lab the Coquitlam RCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Unit utilized the expertise of the Federal RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team, Forensic Identification Section, and Health Canada to dismantle the clandestine lab over a four-day period," she said in a statement today (July 20).
"Health Canada will analyze the seized material to identify the nature of the potential drugs."
Law adds there's no risk to public safety resulting from the case, and no other details are being released at this time.
What is a clandestine lab?
RCMP explain a clandestine laboratory is a synthetic drug production lab that criminals keep in a secret, concealed or undisclosed location.
It's set to primarily produce drugs containing meth and/or MDMA — aka ecstasy — and most are created among those involved with domestic organized crime.
It's unclear, as of this publication, what kind of drugs were being made at the North Bend Street warehouse.
Law stresses the need for local residents to speak up and report suspicious activity in the community, especially when it comes to the drug trade and gang conflict, and to be aware of the signs.
Potential clandestine lab in your neighbourhood may include the following, and two or more of them may be a cause of concern:
- Chemical odour
- Solvents, acids, cat urine, licorice or skunk
- Covered windows or curtains always drawn
- Unfriendly occupants that appear secretive or paranoid about their activities
- This can include watching cars suspiciously as they drive by
- Inconsistent activity
- Occupants are always home or never home
- Frequent visitors at odd hours of the day and for short periods of time
- They may park away from the house with one person waiting in the car
- The house or premises have been outfitted with expensive security
- "Beware of Dog" or "Guard Dog on Duty" signs are used to deter trespassing, theft and detection
- Odd products in the garbage
- Chemical containers, bottles, metal drums, pots, wiring, soil or PVC piping, as well as boxes and containers with labels removed or spray-painted over
- The occupants set out their garbage in another neighbour’s collection area or wait for the arrival of the garbage truck before bringing their garbage to the curb
- The occupants never put out any garbage for pick up
"Contact your local police if you have any information on drug-related clandestine activities or if you observe any signs of a clandestine laboratory," says Law.
Anyone with more information on the clandestine lab investigation is urged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550, anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to www.solvecrime.ca.