Four men from Surrey and Langley have been charged following a series of 2019 raids that saw 1,200 kilograms of dried cannabis and 5,300 marijuana plants seized.
The illegal cannabis was set for export from Canada to Europe and was found during five coordinated searches that took place in June 2019 across Langley, Surrey and Delta.
Mark Manastyrski, Jason van den Born, William Price and Keith Wallis all face charges of exportation of cannabis, possession for the purposes of exporting, distribution over 30, and distribution of illicit cannabis. Van den Born also faces charges of cultivation over four plants in house and careless use of a firearm.
The charges are the result of a years-long investigation involving Canada Border Services Agency, Belgian customs officials, and the RCMP that began in June 2018 and culminated in the 2019 raids.
Searches in Langley and Surrey uncovered a massive amount of Canadian cash, five vehicles and 12 firearms, along with 1,180 kilograms of dried cannabis and 5,300 cannabis plants, even though the facility’s medical license permitted just 300 plants to be grown on the property.
Another search in Delta located Aniline, a fentanyl pre-cursor chemical.
The quartet are scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Dec. 16.
“The cannabis black market continues to try and find ways to improve their profit by exploring options internationally,” said Supt. Richard Bergevin.
“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.”