6 convictions in BC RCMP Federal Policing investigation that led to drug seizure worth $258M

Photo: RCMP

A BC RCMP Federal Policing investigation that led to the dismantling of one of the largest drug super-labs in BC, and conviction of all six suspects has wrapped up with the last two suspects being sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment for their involvement in the production of methamphetamine and fentanyl.

On August 14, Robyn Leigh Bryson, 38, and Trent Anton Fussi, 33, were each sentenced to concurrently serve a total of 11 years in prison, for the production of fentanyl, and six years of imprisonment for the production of methamphetamine. Bryson, and Fussi were convicted on two counts of production of a controlled substance after being identified as the “cooks” at the industrial-scale methamphetamine and fentanyl drug lab, which was located in the community of Lumby, B.C. Bryson and Fussi, also received a 10-year firearm prohibition, and DNA orders.

The investigation into this criminal network was first launched by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) program in 2018, and given the scale, complexity, and hazardous nature posed by the clandestine drug lab, a number of other specialized BC RCMP Federal Policing units were deployed to assist. With the FSOC Border Integrity unit taking the lead, the investigative units included the FSOC Osoyoos team, FSOC Kelowna team, BC RCMP Federal Policing – Clandestine Laboratories Enforcement and Response team (CLEAR), Federal Operations Major Projects team, as well as a number of other RCMP units and partner agencies.

During the initial stages of the investigation that included the execution of several search warrants, federal policing investigators uncovered a large-scale ephedrine extraction, as well as a methamphetamine and fentanyl production lab. The main suspects involved in the criminal operation were also identified as Michael McMorris, Trent Fussi, Tyson Kopp, Michael Piggott, Michael Harvey, and Robyn Bryson.

In order to prevent further production, and distribution of millions of doses of potentially lethal drugs into communities, and to mitigate the significant environmental and safety concerns posed by the synthetic chemicals at the lab, BC RCMP FSOC took immediate enforcement action by executing a search warrant on the property, and arrested Trent Fussi, Tyson Kopp, Michael Piggott, Michael Harvey, and later, Robyn Bryson.

The CDSA search, conducted on October 18, 2018, yielded approximately 48 kilograms of ephedrine HCl, 50 kilograms of solutions containing ephedrine HCl, 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine HCl, 147 gallons (556 litres) of solutions containing methamphetamine, 10 kilograms of 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP), 2.95 kilograms of nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP), 660 grams of fentanyl and 124.7 litres of solutions containing both fentanyl and ANPP.

Since the vast sum of synthetic waste material found on the property posed a significant health and safety risk to local residents, the environment, and regional agriculture, major containment and cleanup efforts ensued. The search and dismantling of the massive drug super-lab took BC RCMP FSOC investigators a total of 12 days to complete, with the cost of the cleanup and disposal of the hazardous waste material totalling nearly $370,000.

During sentencing, the court heard that the street value of the seized methamphetamine was estimated at $2.2 million, and the street value of the fentanyl, once cut and mixed, would amount to an estimated $256 million.

“With toxic fentanyl being increasingly mixed in with other types of street drugs, the opioid crisis seems to be evolving into a poly-drug crisis. This alarming trend is now affecting far more Canadians, and most regrettably, our children and youth. This is why the dedicated investigators of the BC RCMP Federal Policing directorate, will continue to relentlessly pursue criminal networks responsible for the production, and distribution of toxic drugs into our communities,” said A/Superintendent Jillian Wellard, Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime – Major Projects team.

If you know anyone who may be struggling with addiction, you can seek assistance through the BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service Line at 1-800-663-1441.

If you have information about a crime and wish to report it, you may contact your local police agency, or report it anonymously by calling BC Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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