Three police departments in Greater Victoria held a joint press conference on Tuesday in Sidney after police seized $1.1 million in cash and a large quantity of illicit drugs.
The year-long investigation began after an informant led police to a possible clandestine drug lab in an outbuilding on Quatsino Drive in North Saanich in December 2015.
During the investigation, police determined the lab had been moved to a location in the 2300 block of Ravenhill Road in Shawnigan Lake.
Officers uncovered a clandestine operational laboratory, various quantities of precursor materials for making anabolic steroids, significant amounts of the finished products, GHB, lab equipment, and two pills presses.
“There’s enough date rape drug to be supplied to every single student at the University of Victoria, so obviously it’s very concerning not just for Saanich but the entire region,” said Sergeant Jereme Leslie, spokesperson for Saanich Police.
Another search warranted was executed at a home on Torrington Place in Saanich, which resulted in the seizure of two kilograms of cocaine and over a million dollars was found hidden in cinder blocks.
Four people have been charged as a result of operation “E-Newfangled,” including 26-year-old Meagon Blake, who police believe, used her biology and chemistry courses from Vancouver Island University to help produce counterfeit prescription drugs and steroids.
Blake and 26-year-old Christopher Hyland, both from Shawnigan Lake were arrested and charged with numerous counts of possession and drug trafficking related counts. They have both appeared in court and have been released from custody on recognizance with surety and conditions.
49-year-old Alexander Djafar- Zade of Saanich was arrested and charged with three counts of possession, drug trafficking-related counts, and possession of pProceeds of crime.
26-year-old James Thomas Rempel, a Saanich resident has been charged with one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking.