The trial of two men accused of involvement with a clandestine drug lab in a Langley Township residential neighbourhood will begin this August with a Surrey Provincial Court hearing on admissibility of evidence.
Andrew Slemko and Anthony Joseph Stewart are charged with multiple drug-related criminal charges in connection with the Oct. 28 police raid that allegedly uncovered the lab in a house in the 19800 block of 82 Avenue.
Court records show the charges against Stewart were filed a few weeks after Slemko appeared in court .
Slemko is still in custody; Stewart was released on Dec. 5.
Two charges of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking laid against Slemko were stayed by the Crown prosecutor in November.
Several days after the October raid, the RCMP issued a statement on behalf of the Federal Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team that said the Langley warrant was part of a larger investigation into a regional drug manufacturing and trafficking operation that saw two other raids in Surrey and Delta on the same day.
The force said the searches were “related to previous enforcement action taken in relation to a clandestine lab operating in Agassiz” in July.
Investigators said the lab was producing methylenedioxeamphetamine (MDA) or methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA).
The Delta search of a storage locker located in the 10000 block of Nordel Court, found about 605 litres of helional, which investigators believe was destined for use in the production of MDA and MDMA.
The Surrey search of the site in the 3300 block of 151 Street resulted in the seizure of over two kilos of product, believed to be MDA and MDMA.
All three warrants were executed within minutes of each other.
“This investigation into a known producer of synthetic drugs and distributor of precursor chemicals spanned 10 months and covered numerous jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley,” said Staff Sgt. Darin Sheppard, head of Synthetic Drug Operations for the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Team in British Columbia.
At the time of the raid, the house was decorated for Halloween, with jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs and other items.
After police left, the house was declared unsafe and a Township of Langley notice, with a “do not occupy” warning, was attached to the front door of the two-storey house.
In response to a Times query, the Township reported much of the house has since been gutted to remove any toxins and an environmental assessment has been carried out to ensure it can be safely renovated.