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

Nelson Leafs lose to Beaver Valley, will face Spokane in playoffs

Reid Wilson also finished the regular season third overall in scoring

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Leafs, Nitehawks to decide division title Saturday

The regular season ends in Nelson with both teams tied on points

Nelson Nordic Ski Club fundraising for new groomer

The club’s current machine is beginning to break down

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Most Read