I saw this article in the local newspaper - lately we have had a lot of drugbust articles going around, and i would've turned a blind eye to it.... but it just so happens that my sister lives on Greenlees rd. - so I decided to type it up and share it.
The only question I have, is.... can ketamine really be used to manufacture methamphetamine and ecstasy? I've never heard of its mention in any synthesis. Or is this another case of 'reporter-doesn't-know-wtf-he's-talking-about' syndrome? I would've thought it'd be more profitable to leave the ketamine as it is, instead of going through the process of synthesizing it into a cheaper (but I guess, with greater demand) street drug.
The Drug House Next Door
Neighbours had no idea that organized crime had moved in
by Martin van den Hemel, staff reporter for the Richmond Review.
Very generous and very polite. Those aren’t words normally used to describe people linked to organized crime who operate a clandestine drug lab and processing facility.
So imagine the surprise of residents of a quiet Broadmoor neighbourhood where not even a Block Watch program managed to help them sniff out what was right under their noses: the headquarters for a multi-million dollar drug cell run allegedly by Asian organized crime.
“There was no inclination that any of that was happening,” one area resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said of the home at 9911 Greenlees Crt., just west of No. 3 Road and Williams.
“It was just by surprise. We didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. They kept a very low profile.”
“I never knew the people buy it seemed like they fir right into the neighbourhood.”
On Tuesday, Richmond Mounties rolled out the fruits from the execution of a dozen search warrants on homes and cars, all executed simultaneously at homes in Richmond and New Westminster last Wednesday morning.
Inside the upscale Greenlees Court house- assessed at nearly three quarters of a million dollars, according to city property tax records – investigators found 28 kilograms of the chemical ketamine, which could have been used to produce $2 million worth of ecstasy or methamphetamine.
Police also seized a commercial grade pill press – used to stamp and form pills – some 22 kilograms of dried marijuana, a kilogram of methamphetamine, more than $100,000 in cash, a $30,000 bank draft, and three money counters.
There are also indications some serious firepower was inside the house at one point, judging from the ammunition police seized for an AR-15 assault rifle – which hasn’t been found – and a shotgun.
And when police swooped in and arrested several people in the house on Greenlees Court, not far from John T. Errington Elementary School, one was strapped with a loaded nine-millimetre pistol.
Police say the house appears to have been used to process the marijuana grown in five other homes- 10266 McLeod Crt., 20-6833 Livingstone Pl., 11380 Seahurst Rd., 3891 McKay Dr., all in Richmond, and 1163 Sparks Crt. in New Westminster. Those homes contained some 3,400 mature plants.
Although this Greenlees Court drug lab flew below the radar of local residents, Richmond RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen revealed Tuesday that it was a phone call from the public that prompted police to launch an investigation and eventually led to the significant discovery.
“I think it’s one of the largest and most significant in quite some time,” he said.
“This is an excellent example of what one tip can lead to.”
But one area resident said there was no activity that made the Greenlees house suspicious.
Its owners, who moved to the neighbourhood about two years ago, on at least one occasion chatted with a passerby who was walking her dog, and even made a generous charitable donation.
“It shocked me that they blended right into the neighbourhood. There were other houses in the neighbourhood that we’re (more suspicious of) than that house. That’s why...it’s got us all by surprise because we weren’t looking at that house.”
Asked if the discovery will prompt change, the neighbour said: “Yes, I think we’ll be more vigilant and to look out for these problems, but with organized crime, nobody’s willing to talk.”
Investigators are confident the people who were arrested are part of an Asian organized crime cell operating in Richmond. For the most part, the accused belong to a single family, Thiessen said.
Where the drugs were headed isn’t clear, but the ketamine seizure was unusually large.
Provincial property tax records indicate the Greenlees home is owned by a Pei L. Tan. Pei Ling Tan, 49, was among five people – Tian Alexis Wang, 23, and Zhantu Tony Zhao, 18, Kwok Chung Tam, 48, and Ka Ling Tam, 47 – charged last week with one count of production of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
One of the other homes, on McKay court, belongs to a K. L. Tam.
Thiessen wouldn’t say whether efforts were being made to seize the homes and vehicles under proceeds of crime legislations.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
-residents don’t appear to have regular jobs but drive expensive vehicles;
-dark coverings placed over some of the windows;
-rooms in the house or outbuildings seem to be illuminated all the time;
-heavy condensation on windows, absence of snow or frost on roof when all neighbouring houses are covered;
-extra measures used to protect the house, such as new fencing, guard dogs, bars on windows;
-humming noises are heard, perhaps indicative of fans.
-several people walk in and out of house throughout day and night, parking down the street and walking to the house
(tips courtesy Block Watch)