The RCMP has announced that they seized a large sum of fentanyl, other opioids, money and weapons from houses in New Westminster and Maple Ridge in June 2021.
The Search Enforcement Unit (SEU) obtained search warrants for multiple houses to further investigate drug activity on street-level.
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Sums of fentanyl (6.312 kgs), crack and cocaine (1.033 kgs) and methamphetamine (625 g) were seized from the locations. Reportedly, some of the drugs were already packaged and ready for sale.
This is the largest seizure of drugs in the Maple Ridge detachment’s history.
Body armour, ammunition, three vehicles and $31,084 were also seized during the search operation.
Two individuals have been arrested, however, they are yet to appear in front of a BC Provincial Court.
Highest deaths in 2021
The news comes a day after the BC Coroner’s Office released its report on deaths caused by illicit drug use in 2021.
According to the data, 83 per cent of the deaths in 2021 were caused by the use of fentanyl and other similar drugs.
In 2021, a total of 2,241 deaths were reported due to illicit drug toxicity, the highest ever recorded in a year. It’s a 26 per cent increase from 2020 when 1,767 deaths were reported.
This means that on average, 6.1 deaths were reported daily.
Post-mortem toxicology reports also revealed that from April 2020 to December 2021, 15 per cent deaths were caused by extreme fentanyl consumption.
Fraser Health reported 765 deaths in 2021 (34 per cent of all illicit drug deaths in B.C.), the highest in the year. Most of these death (54 per cent) were caused by benzodiazepines overdose.
The data also shows that 71 per cent deaths reported were between ages 30 to 59. And male deaths accounted for 78 per cent across the province.
Although Ridge Meadows accounted for a total of 48 deaths, 45 of them were reported in Maple Ridge.
In the 2020 report, it was highlighted that 2016 onwards, 56 per cent of the drugs were consumed through smoking.