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

Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19

District also working with businesses on ‘voluntary reductions in operations and shutdowns’

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Hope care homes, seniors residences close to visitors

Preventative measures ramped up as COVID-19 found in several B.C. long term care facilities

Hope’s emergency shelter braces for COVID-19

District’s homeless serving organization deals with food shortage scare, preparation at 20-bed shelter

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read