Raids on Nanaimo homes lead to three arrests linked to drug trafficking

Three people were arrested when the RCMP’s federal serious and organized crime division executed search warrants on two homes in Nanaimo that police allege are associated with an online drug-trafficking ring.

The raids followed a year-long investigation, called EPateriform, into online drug trafficking using the “dark web” — hidden sectors of the internet — and bitcoin exchanges.

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The target of the probe was a dark-web vendor known by his online handle AlwaysOvrWeight, who police claim was selling and shipping a wide variety of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB, psilocybin (mushrooms), ketamine and fentanyl to Canadians

Police determined AlwaysOvrWeight was also using encrypted communications to traffic drugs online as bcpremo88.

“Using conventional and non-conventional techniques, RCMP [federal serious and organized crime division] narrowed the dark-web vendor’s location to Nanaimo,” the RCMP said in a news release.

On Feb. 4, RCMP raided two homes in Nanaimo: an alleged GHB processing lab in the 3900-block of Hammond Bay Road, and a residence in the 6100-block of Kiara Place where police say evidence of drug trafficking using the dark web was found.

Three Nanaimo residents were arrested but their names haven’t been released, as charges haven’t been laid.

“This marks the success of a challenging project. The RCMP in B.C. will continue to work to enhance public safety for all Canadians, in the real and virtual world,” said RCMP Supt. Richard Bergevin.

— Vancouver Sun

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