Abbotsford unveiled its own version of Breaking Bad this week with the discovery of two residential meth labs one day apart.
Police investigations revealed operations that could be compared to the hit TV show, which depicted a high school chemistry teacher who cooked meth and sold it through his associations with criminal organizations.
The first of the Abbotsford drug labs was uncovered on Sunday at a home on Marshall Road near Everett Street.
Members of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) drug squad conducted a search warrant in the morning and, based on what they found, called in members of the RCMP clandestine drug lab team, the RCMP forensic identification unit and the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) hazmat response.
Quantities of chemicals were removed from the home, and two men – ages 20 and 30 – were arrested. Charges have not yet been laid.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said it will take some time for lab testing to confirm the chemical contents of the materials seized from the home, although it is believed they were being used to make methamphetamine.
The APD drug squad conducted another search warrant on Monday at a home in the 1700 block of Mt. Lehman Road, just north of Abbotsford Airport.
Again, items found in the home resulted in police calling in the RCMP clandestine drug lab team and AFRS hazmat, who were on the scene all day Tuesday to collect evidence.
MacDonald described the second operation as a “large-scale meth lab” that was much bigger than the one on Marshall Road.
He said the materials found in the Mt. Lehman home were so toxic and corrosive that the damage caused to the residence – from fumes and spills – has left it permanently uninhabitable.
MacDonald said the dangers to neighbours and first responders were “quite significant” had there been a fire or explosion in the home.
He said operations of this nature are linked to larger criminal enterprises.
“Given the size and scope of this operation, it’s absolutely consistent with the resources that are needed and required with organized crime,” he said.
No one has yet been arrested in connection with the Mt. Lehman operation.
MacDonald said the investigation will take some time to determine all the players involved in the two meth labs, whether the two operations are linked, whether more labs are in existence, for whom the drugs were being manufactured, and where they were being distributed.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.