FOUR men from the Surrey and Langley areas are facing charges in connection with a cannabis exportation investigation that saw five search warrants executed in the Lower Mainland last year.
In June 2018, Federal BC RCMP Major Projects investigators commenced Project EPROMINENT, assisted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), RCMP Liaison Office in The Hague, and the Belgian Federal Public Service Finance – Customs and Excise division, into the export of illicit cannabis from Canada to Europe.
The investigation culminated in the execution of five search warrants on June 18, 2019, in Langley, Surrey and Delta. The searches in Langley and Surrey resulted in the seizure of a large amount of Canadian currency, five vehicles and 12 firearms. Also seized was over 1,180 kilograms of dried cannabis and over 5,300 cannabis plants. The facility’s medical licence permitted less than 300 plants.
The fifth search warrant was executed in Delta and required the assistance of the Federal RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) Team. As a result, an amount of Aniline, which is a known fentanyl pre-cursor chemical, was seized.
“The cannabis black market continues to try and find ways to improve their profit by exploring options internationally,” said Superintendent Richard Bergevin, Officer in Charge of the Federal Serious and Organized Crime – Major Projects team in BC. “With the help of our federal and international policing partners, we were able to stop the exportation of a significant quantity of cannabis and will continue to combat the efforts of organized crime at home and abroad.”
Mark Manastyrski, Jason Van Den Born, William Price and Keith Wallis face charges of exportation of cannabis, possession for the purpose of exporting, distribution over 30, and distribution of illicit cannabis.
Van Den Born faces two additional charges of cultivation over four plants in house and careless use (storage) of a firearm.
They are all scheduled to appear next in Surrey Provincial Court on December 16.