3 arrested in RCMP investigation of online drug trafficking in Nanaimo

Federal RCMP investigators announced Thursday that they had arrested three people in Nanaimo in connection to what they called a "year-long investigation into dark web drug trafficking." (RCMP FSOC)

Federal RCMP investigators announced Thursday that they had arrested three people in Nanaimo in connection to what they called a "year-long investigation into dark web drug trafficking."

The arrests came on Feb. 4, when officers executed search warrants at two homes in Nanaimo. One warrant was executed at a residence in the 3900 block of Hammond Bay Road, where officers found and dismantled a gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) processing lab, according to an RCMP news release. Officers also found evidence of "drug packaging and trafficking," police said.

The other warrant was executed across the city at a house in the 6100 block of Kiara Place. There, police said, officers found "evidence of drug trafficking using the dark web." That's also where the three arrests occurred. Police said charges have not yet been laid against the three Nanaimo residents arrested, adding that the investigation remains ongoing.

That investigation began in January 2019, and has been led by the RCMP's Federal Serious and Organized Crime team. The FSOC named their investigation "project EPateriform," according to the release.

The investigation targeted online drug trafficking that was happening through "the dark web and bitcoin exchanges," police said, noting that their specific target was a "prolific" vendor known by the username AlwaysOvrWeight.

"Over the course of the exhaustive, year-long investigation, investigators gathered evidence to support allegations that AlwaysOvrWeight was facilitating the online sale and shipment of a wide variety of drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, psilocybin (mushrooms), ketamine and fentanyl to Canadians," police said.

Investigators used "conventional and non-conventional techniques" during their efforts, police said. They thanked officers from the Nanaimo and Powell River RCMP detachments, as well as Canada Post, for their help with the investigation.

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