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)

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)

This 2016 Jeep Wrangler was seized by police during a drug bust on Wednesday (Aug. 14) in Abbotsford. (Photo: Abbotsford Police Department)

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
December and January tip the scales to wet in Greater Victoria

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Rendering offers an overhead view of proposed tiny home community using repurposed shipping containers in the Caledonia/Vancouver street parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. Council voted to allow Aryze Developments apply for a temporary use permit as part of the project. (Courtesy Aryze Developments)
Anonymous donor boosts shipping container housing project in Victoria

Donor promises to match further donations until $500,000 goal is met

Stair care in Colwood
Colwood Coun. Michael Baxter says Latoria Creek Park is now more enjoyable and safe to take a stroll through due to the latest upgrades completed on the staircase. Four long sets of nature stairs now include slip-proof metal steps. The elevated staircase also allows for better air flow to slow the rotting process, and metal handrails to prevent splinters. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood unveils massive upgrade to popular park staircase

Upgrades include slip-proof metal steps, metal handrails and raised design

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read