Vancouver Island’s Emergency Response Team and Mounties raided two homes in Nanaimo and Ladysmith, where investigators found drug labs producing GHB, also known as the date rape drug.
About 6 a.m. Thursday, the tactical team members and Nanaimo RCMP conducted simultaneous raids on a home in the 600 block of Harewood Road in Nanaimo and a home on Prospect Drive in Ladysmith, said spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.
“There were two [ERT] team vehicles — two big vans and a big white van, two unmarked SUVs and other unmarked cars and five marked RCMP vehicles [outside],” said Tom, a neighbour of the home raided in Nanaimo who asked that his surname not be used.
“It was a little exciting, he said. “I wasn’t sure if I should leave my house or not.”
The tactical team was used because of concern there could be firearms in one of the homes, O’Brien said. Police believe both homes contained chemical labs used to produce gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, a powerful synthetic drug produced in liquid form which is odourless, tasteless and has sedative effects.
Two men and two women were arrested after the search of the Harewood Road home. One woman was arrested at the Ladysmith home.
RCMP clandestine lab investigators, dressed in hazardous-materials suits, seized chemicals and drug-production equipment from both homes. Investigators were still collecting evidence on Thursday.
In an unrelated case, the Nanaimo RCMP street crime unit and armed ERT officers seized an SKS semi-automatic rifle and an antique revolver after a raid on a known drug house on View Street in south Nanaimo on Wednesday evening.
Both guns are believed to be stolen.
Police also found stolen identification, a mountain bike and a small quantity of drugs including crack cocaine, marijuana and unknown powders.
Two women and one man associated with the residence were arrested. All three were released on promises to appear in court on Feb. 24.
— With files from the Nanaimo Daily News