A Surrey man is facing 10 charges in connection with a joint investigation between the Victoria Police Department and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC into what police describe as an organized crime group allegedly trafficking fentanyl in the capital city.
Three men have been charged in “Project Juliet,” which saw nine search warrants executed and 20 guns seized, as well as a large quantity of “suspected” fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy, as well as $383,390 in cash and three luxury vehicles.
Vu Bao Nguyen, 34, of Surrey is charged with seven counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Brian James Balla, 34, originally from Calgary now living in Victoria, is charged with five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Brent William Van Buskirk, 35, originally from Vancouver, is charged with eight counts of possessing a firearm without authorization, two counts of possessing a non-restricted firearm without a licence, and three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Nguyen was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 10 and will remain in custody pending a hearing, while Ball was arrested a day earlier and is awating a bail hearing. According to a CFSEU press release, Van Buskirk was on parole for a 2004 murder conviction when he was arrested. His parole has been revoked.
“In a year where over 2,000 people in British Columbia have died from a suspected illicit drug overdose it is clear that more joint operation work like this must be done to end the deaths,” Victoria Police Chief Const. Del Manak said.