A five-month investigation has led to the Vancouver police discovering illegal weapons and millions in drugs, and arresting four young men.
The investigation, known as Project Tariff, stemmed from an incident of gunfire in March during a police operation on a southeast Vancouver home.
It targeted a crime group police believe is involved in drug-trafficking and crime throughout Metro Vancouver, VPD Supt. Mike Porteous told a news conference on Wednesday.
Search warrants for the drugs seized were executed in Surrey, Richmond and Vancouver.
Police seized what amounted to millions of dollars in fentanyl, carfentanil, methylfentanyl and heroin. The weapons found included a semi-automatic assault rife, three semi-automatic rifles and a sawed-off shotgun, which is illegal.
Charged are Jagraj Mushki Nijjar, Jaskaran Singh Heer, Harjot Singh Samra, and Gary Gurpreet Dhillon. All are from either Vancouver or Richmond and are in their early to mid-20s.
Police have seen a definite increase in the amount of fentanyl they see out on the streets, Porteous said.
“Now, it’s unusual for us not to come across fentanyl in seizures of intravenous-based drugs,” he said.
These seizures and arrests “could be related” to those involved in the recent uptick in shootings in Surrey and Abbotsford, he added.
“It’s a disruption in the economy of the drug trafficking that causes gang violence,” he said. “It’s a peaks and valleys kind of situation.”